A federal judge on Monday sentenced 26-year-old Heriberto Perez-Pinon, who had been living in Houston.
Perez-Pinon in 2010 pleaded guilty to hostage taking. Authorities say smuggled immigrants were held until family or friends paid a release fee.
The investigation began in 2009 when two people escaped from a group being hauled to a Houston stash house. A concerned citizen contacted police on behalf of the pair.
Five co-defendants earlier pleaded guilty to hostage taking or conspiracy to commit hostage taking and have been sentenced to prison.
Further details on the home country of Perez-Pinon, who faces deportation after prison, were not immediately available.