Coast Guard Seventh District Commander Rear Adm. John Korn places a wreath during a ceremony at Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa, Fla., on May 5, 2014, held to commemorate the addition of Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne’s name to the college’s Wall of Honor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)

Smugglers Sentenced in Killing of U.S. Coast Guard Officer Terrell Horne III

A Mexican smuggler who purposely rammed a U.S. Coast Guard vessel with his fishing boat to escape capture was sentenced Monday to spend the rest of his life in prison for killing an officer from the South Bay.

Jose Mejia-Leyva, 42, will never receive the chance for parole for the Dec. 1, 2012, confrontation that killed 34-year-old Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, a Redondo Beach resident with a pregnant wife and two sons.

Meija-Leyva, the captain of the panga, was sentenced by Judge Gary A. Feess in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Mejia-Leyva’s partner, Manuel Beltran-Higuera, 44, of Ensenada, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his role in the crime, which occurred as Coast Guard officers tried to intercept their boat near Santa Cruz Island.

The Coast Guard on Tuesday will formally name its Terminal Island building after Horne, the first Coast Guard officer killed in the line of duty by smugglers since 1927.

Read more at The Daily Breeze

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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