A man whom federal prosecutors said worked as a "coyote" admitted in federal court Thursday that he was responsible for a fatal van rollover in 2005 that killed two of 14 illegal aliens being smuggled into the country.
Raul Ramirez-Becerra, who earlier told federal officials his name was Ramses Castellano-Lin, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding in the transport of 14 illegal aliens.
Federal prosecutors say Becerra was paid by the group to smuggle them into the country. After the Oct. 11, 2005, accident, Becerra walked away from a Moab-area hospital but was later arrested in Phoenix in July 2007.
In July 2006, co-defendant Neo Luna-Escanola was sentenced to two years in federal prison for falling asleep while driving the van, causing the accident. Prosecutors, however, said Becerra was in charge of the smuggling operation.
Becerra said he was paid between $400 and $500 to transport the 14 aliens.
The 27-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 10.