Human Smugglers Sentenced for Their Roles in Highway Death of Juvenile 

Gerson Montano, 38, and Robert Dale Hart, 64, both of Tucson, were sentenced last month by United States District Judge Diane J. Humetewa for their roles leading to the death of a 17-year-old undocumented noncitizen.

On August 3, 2022, at approximately 11 p.m., Arizona Department of Public Safety Officers attempted to stop an SUV traveling westbound on I-10. The SUV failed to yield then abruptly pulled over in the center median of the interstate. Multiple people then fled from the vehicle and ran across the eastbound lanes of traffic. Two individuals who fled were then struck by a semi-truck, both were undocumented noncitizens. One undocumented noncitizen, age 17, died at the scene, while the other was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the SUV, who also fled on foot, was Montano. During the subsequent investigation, agents learned Hart had hired Montano to transport the undocumented noncitizens.

Montano was sentenced to 70 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised released. Montano was convicted of Transportation of Illegal Aliens Resulting in Death. Hart was sentenced to 51 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Hart was convicted of Conspiracy to Transport Illegal Aliens Resulting in Death.