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Second human smuggler gets 8 years for “Welcome to Hell” stash house

December 18th 2012   ·   0 Comments

humansmuggling(AP) — McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A 24-year-old Mexican national has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for holding more than 100 illegal immigrants in three buildings in the Rio Grande Valley.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said Vincente Ortiz-Soto and a partner operated what became known as the “welcome to hell” stash house in Edinburg.

Ortiz-Soto and 24-year-old Marcial Salas-Gardunio were arrested in May after a 911 call alerted authorities.

They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants.

On Monday, Ortiz-Soto received 103 months in prison from U.S. District Judge Randy Crane in McAllen. His partner earlier got 97 months.

One building was chain locked and captives said Salas-Gardunio greeted them with “Welcome to hell” when they arrived.

They also said they’d been threatened with beatings or death if they didn’t remain quiet.

Copyright ©2012 by The Associated Press.


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