Border Patrol Agents Get 30-Year Sentence for Smuggling Migrants Into United States
A U.S. District Court judge recently sentenced two Border Patrol agents, Raul Villareal and his brother Fidel, to 30 years in prison for smuggling hundreds of people from Mexico into the United States. Judge John Houston said he deemed their actions a threat to national security. He also ordered one of the brothers to pay a $250,000 fine. The brothers plan to appeal.
An informant notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the operation, which involved the agents leaving their border posts to transport the migrants in Border Patrol vehicles from Tijuana to California. The brothers charged the groups of immigrants, numbering 10, about $10,000 per group. The judge said the brothers made more than $700,000. When the brothers realized they were being investigated, they fled to Tijuana, where they were arrested two years later and extradited to the United States.