MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A 43-year-old man from Mission was sentenced after pleading guilty to abandoning a woman during a smuggling attempt.
Nelson Bahena-Garcia was sentenced to 21 years in prison for conspiracy to commit hostage taking which resulted in death, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bahena-Garcia plead guilty in November 2021, admitting that the woman died during the smuggling attempt.
The investigation into Bahena-Garcia began when authorities learned of a missing Honduran female. Her fiance alerted authorities when he was unable to make a payment for her release.
The woman was found on May 28, 2018 on a rural road in Victoria County. She was stripped nude, and had “what appeared to be trauma inflicted upon her body,” the release stated.
The investigation showed that the woman had collapsed during the smuggling attempt and had to be carried. According to the release, she said “please don’t leave me” before Bahena-Garcia provided instructions to leave her in the brush area to die.
He admitted that his driver then abandoned her by the side of the highway.
Bahena-Garcia, who is not a U.S. citizen, is expected to face removal proceedings after his imprisonment, the release stated.