5 plead guilty in Texas human smuggling operation

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Associated Press

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 5:32 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — Five men from Mexico have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and firearms charges stemming from a human smuggling operation that held 115 people captive in a small Houston house.

Officials say the captives were held against their will until a ransom was paid to allow their illegal entry into the United States.

All five pleaded guilty to two-count criminal informations accusing the five of conspiracy to harbor and transport immigrants illegally and use of a firearm in a crime of violence. Each face up to 10 years in prison on the conspiracy count and five years on the weapons count at their sentencing scheduled for July 30. All will remain in custody until then.

The five were arrested March 19 when investigators discovered their stash house that day in southern Houston.

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