Two Mexican nationals have been charged in an early Wednesday morning wreck in Wilson County the resulted in the death of three illegal immigrants.
Javier Silva-Morales, 31, of Monterrey, Mexico and 25-year-old Jose Abram Lopez-Lozano of Michoaca?n, Mexico were identified Thursday as the smugglers.
The two are being charged with transporting aliens for gain, resulting in death.
Investigators said Silva-Morales and Lopez-Lozano were driving a Chevrolet Tahoe carrying 11 illegal immigrants from Falfurrias, Texas to Houston.
When a Wilson County Sheriff's deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop near Poth, Texas, officials say the vehicle crashed into the nine-feet-deep pond on FM 427 near Poth at 4 a.m., said Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt.
After losing sight of the vehicle, deputies said they discovered several individuals at the end of an open field standing on top of what appeared to be the same vehicle, which was now submerged under water.
Investigators said a total of 12 individuals, including both defendants, were arrested by sheriff's deputies with assistance from Texas Department of Public Safety troopers.
HSI agents said they later determined that the twelve were in the United States without proper documentation and placed them under arrest. A Texas Department of Public Safety dive team that was dispatched to the scene recovered three bodies from the bottom of the water near the vehicle, said officials.
Upon conviction, the two could face up to life in federal prison. Both remain in federal custody at this time.