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Oregon man sentenced in slaying of human trafficker in Santa Ana

A 39-year-old Oregon man was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison for his role in a father-son murder of a human smuggler who had just brought the son from Mexico to Santa Ana in 2000, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

An Orange County jury last year found Huber Juarez Vasquez, 39, of Woodburn, Ore., and his 61-year-old father, Manuel Hernandez Juarez of Riverside, guilty of felony murder in the death of Victor Camacho and attempted murder in the shooting of Jose Luz Garcia.

Camacho and Garcia had been promised $1,500 for illegally transporting Vasquez across the U.S.-Mexican border, according to the court records.

"After Camacho and Garcia arrived with Vasquez and other smuggled immigrants, Juarez armed Vasquez with a firearm to shoot the victims to avoid paying the $1,500 fee," the prosecutor's office said in a statement. "Juarez shot Camacho one time in the chest, killing him. Vasquez fired at Garcia, shooting him once in the abdomen."

The father and son fled the scene of the April 6, 2000, shootings, and the case went cold for nine years. Investigators who revived it in 2009 reviewed fingerprint evidence and located the father in federal prison, where he was serving time for unrelated crimes. On the day Juarez was to be released in September 2009, Santa Ana police detectives arrested him at the federal prison and tracked down Vasquez at his Oregon home.

Vasquez faces a term of 57 years to life when he is sentenced in Santa Ana on April 13, the district attorney's office said.

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-- Carol J. Williams

 
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