2 sentenced in fatal smuggling case

This month marks nearly 18 months since a Donna woman died as a result of a car chase and shootout during a botched human smuggling job.

According to court records, on June 27, Natalie Anaid Pena was hired to drive an SUV carrying undocumented persons from one part of Alamo to another part of town for an unknown amount of cash.

On that day, Pena arrived at the Burger King on Tower Road to meet with David Lee Davila, who hired Pena and Davila’s partner, Nathan Lee Tamez, for the smuggling job.

But according to court records, something went amiss during the transaction, leading to the exchange of gunfire between the two groups and a subsequent chase.

“Everyone fled the scene which led to two vehicles chasing and striking each other. Ultimately, the woman Davila hired lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a residence in Alamo,” a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Southern District of Texas stated.

During the exchange of gunfire, Pena and Tamez suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Pena, 19, died as a result of the injuries sustained in the shooting and subsequent crash after being hospitalized for several weeks.

Davila, of Penitas, and Tamez, of Donna, pleaded guilty Oct. 31, 2019, to one count of conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in the death of a person. Tamez also admitted to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Last week, a court handed down lengthy sentences for the man who hired Pena and his partner.

On Dec. 16, a court handed down a 188-month prison sentence for 29-year-old Davila and a 155-month prison sentence for Tamez, 30, records show.

In addition to the prison sentence, each will be required to serve three years of supervised release after their respective prison terms have been completed, court records show.

Davila and Tamez have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility designated in the near future.