A Mexican man who piloted a boat bound for Newport Beach with seven undocumented immigrants on board–then ran out of gas 20 miles from Oceanside where he threatened to shoot anyone who called authorities for help–could get a 90-year prison sentence after being convicted in federal court.
Jesus Quinones-Chavez, 57, of Torreon, Coahuila, is scheduled to discover his fate Sept. 30.
He captained a 24-foot Bayliner from Puerto Nuevo, Baja, on Sept. 15 that spent about a day adrift before another vessel stopped and gave him fuel. But then the boat's engine failed, so instead of making land in Newport Beach they all came to shore in San Clemente.
One passenger Quinones-Chavez had charged $7,000 to $12,000 for the journey was hurt jumping off the boat and had to be hospitalized.
It a six-day trial and five hours of jury deliberations for Quinones-Chavez to be convicted of conspiracy Thursday, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.