Alleged brush guide deported after crash to be held without bond

A Tamaulipas man accused of being a brush guide during a crash that killed two people in October will be held without bond pending the resolution of his case, a federal magistrate judge ruled Monday.

Brandon Osiel Cibriano-Gonzalez, who has been in custody since Nov. 16, was scheduled to appear for a detention hearing Monday, but waived the hearing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Nadia S. Medrano found numerous reasons why he should remain in custody, including the weight of the evidence and the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence if he is convicted.

Cibriano also has an immigration detainer.

Medrano wrote in the order that it is alleged Cibriano acted as a foot guide on multiple occasions, including his first, in which “two individuals died as a result of the driver’s flight from law enforcement.”

She also said he was in the vehicle as a foot guide.

After the accident, which occurred Oct. 22, Border Patrol agents and Palmview police investigators interviewed Cibriano at South Texas Health Systems McAllen, where he had been refusing medical treatment and trying to check out of the hospital.

Medrano wrote in the order that he had claimed that he was one of the people attempting to enter the country illegally and the criminal complaint against him notes that he was deported after the interview under Title 42, the pandemic-related federal order that immediately returns people to Mexico if they’re caught.

However, federal prosecutors allege that he continued to return illegally after he was deported and acted as a brush guide for groups of people entering the country illegally.

On Nov. 16, Border Patrol arrested him with a dozen other people.

During an interview after his arrest, agents noted he had glass embedded in his forehead and after his deportation, two of the people who were severely injured in the crash told investigators that he was the brush guide. Cibriano had been ejected through the windshield of the vehicle involved in the crash.

That vehicle is a Chevrolet Impala, which Palmview police chased early that morning.

Police, however, slowed down after it turned onto a dirt road commonly used for bailouts because of the dust it was kicking into the air, according to the complaint.

The officer later found the vehicle with extensive damage and saw a man hanging out of the left rear window and three other men laying on the ground next to the vehicle, according to the complaint.

Officers saw seven people. Two were dead and five others “extremely injured,” the complaint said.

The deceased include Brayan Treviño, of Mexico, who was later identified as one of the smugglers, and Cristian Arnulfo Jimenez-Castro, a citizen of Honduras.

The complaint does not identify the driver and his status is not immediately known.

After his Nov 16 arrest, Border Patrol says Cibriano admitted to acting as a brush guide multiple times between Oct. 22 and Nov. 16 in exchange for 5,000 pesos each time.

He was charged with transporting people in the country illegally and with conspiracy to transport people in the country illegally.