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.
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.