CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors in South Texas have announced the indictment of more than 30 people in an immigrant smuggling ring allegedly operating since 2002.
Details released Thursday indicate a sealed indictment was returned Jan. 25 in Corpus Christi and partly opened upon the arrest of more than a dozen suspects.
Five people have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal immigrants. A federal judge in Corpus Christi will sentence the five on May 3, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison.
An additional 19 people were caught in February and face the same charge.
Investigators say the defendants are from Edinburg, Wharton, Houston, Falfurrias (fal-FYOO'-ree-uhs), Conroe, Texas City, Missouri City and Galveston.