A Phoenix man was sentenced January 14, to 80 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for alien smuggling resulting in a death in a probe spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations assisted by the United States Border Patrol.
Andrew Lamar Blake, 45, of Phoenix, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rosemary Marquez after previously pleading guilty Oct. 16, 2019, to conspiracy to transport illegal aliens for profit where aliens’ lives were placed in jeopardy which resulted a death.
According to court documents set forth in his plea agreement, during an attempted traffic stop by the United States Border Patrol and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office on April 6, 2018, Blake, the driver of the vehicle, sped away at approximately 90 miles an hour on the I-10 freeway. Blake was driving a truck containing eleven illegal aliens and two co-conspirators. Eventually, he exited the interstate, however faced with road and construction barriers which then prompted him to lose control of the vehicle causing a roll over. The truck landed on the passenger side on the highway medium. One victim was killed in the crash, and many others were injured after being ejected from the truck bed. One passenger became pinned under the truck forcing agents to retrieve him.
Further, Blake admitted that he conspired to transport the aliens for profit knowing that the back of the truck did not have safety belts and understood that the speed and manner in which he drove the vehicle would reasonably and foreseeably cause serious physical injury and/or death if collided.
The prosecution was handled by Christine A. Melton and Arturo A. Aguilar, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.