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Date set for Holtville crash suspect’s arraignment

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Jose Cruz Noguez, the man accused of orchestrating the smuggling of 25 undocumented immigrants on March 2 appeared in U.S. District Court Monday.

13 people died in the crash.

Cruz Noguez appeared via video conference and in the courtroom was his defense attorney, Jo Tyrell.

RELATED: Mexicali man arrested in connection with deadly March 2 crash

Homeland Security is investigating the planning behind Cruz's smuggling fees as well as the 10-foot hole cut in the border wall where two vehicles entered.

Eric Montoya Reyes says if Cruz is found to be the mastermind, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"He is human trafficking and he is profiting greatly at the big expense of people that were looking for a better life," Montoya Reyes said.

Every Easter, local coalitions honor those who have lost their lives while crossing the border including these 13 men and women from Mexico and Guatemala.

But they recently got some unfortunate news from the California Department of Transportation.

"CalTrans has already given noticed that they will be removing much of the memorial that were left there, the tributes that people left there as it's a hazard, potential hazard," Montoya Reyes explained. "So, we're looking to make a permanent memorial."

They have already reached out to local agencies to find out about regulations and permits for a permanent memorial.

Cruz Noguez's preliminary hearing will be held on April 13 along with the arraignment on April 27.

Crime / Imperial County / News
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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film. In 2019, she completed her internship at KLAS, a CBS affiliate station in Las Vegas.

While Arlette’s first love is writing, she is no stranger to the camera. Her background consists of acting, singing, hosting and even working for a major music producer. Even still, Arlette has worked in many different fields ranging from food service to hospitality and property management. Her first job was at her family restaurant when she was 14 years old. She danced around outside dressed as a clown waving a pizza box for the grand-reopening.

Arlette was born and raised in Southern California and spent about 6 years in Nevada before moving to Yuma.

You can reach out to Arlette for inquiries at

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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. After a short 3 ½ years, she earned bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with minors in Journalism and Spanish but gained memories and friendships she will always remember.

She began her broadcast journalism career through NAZ Today, northern Arizona’s local news station, by covering breaking news, building relationships with the community, learning to produce a newscast and anchoring live. Although she will miss her snowy mountain town, she is excited to further her broadcast career and take on the heat in a great city like Yuma.

She is looking forward to floating down at the Colorado River, riding dirt bikes at the sand dunes, and most importantly, serving the community through local news.

You can send any story ideas her way by emailing


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