3 plead guilty over immigrant smuggling

June 28, 2008 4:58:14 AM PDT
Three smugglers face maximum 10-year prison terms after more than 20 illegal immigrants were found in two homes in Houston. The U.S. attorney's office says sentencing is Sept. 19 for Everardo Flores-Castaneda and Arturo Hernandez-Villegas, both of Mexico, and Gelber Cornelio Pereira of Brazil.

The three pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal aliens.

Each could also be fined up to $250,000.

Federal agents in January received calls from families of some illegal immigrants reporting their relatives were held by smugglers demanding up to $15,000 ransom per person.

Surveillance helped lead to one house with 15 illegal immigrants, and another with six immigrants, including a 6-year-old boy.

      Headlines at a glance | News in your community | RSS feeds
           Slideshow archive | ABC13 wireless | Help solve crimes


Load Comments