August 12, 2008

Ex-Border Patrol agent in Texas sentenced in checkpoint smuggling

Associated Press - August 12, 2008 5:05 PM ET

LAREDO, Texas (AP) - A judge in Laredo today ordered prison for a now-ex-Border Patrol agent for allowing illegal immigrants on buses through a checkpoint.

David Cruz and his wife, Susana Lopez Portillo De Cruz, both of Laredo, each must serve 50 months behind bars.

A third person, Bertha Alicia Esquivel of Mexico, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Authorities say Susana Cruz gave information -- such as bus numbers, locations and times -- to her husband, who let illegal immigrants traveling with Esquivel pass through a checkpoint.

Prosecutors say Esquivel transported the immigrants by commercial bus and coordinated the smuggling through Susana Cruz.

All three earlier this year pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport/harbor illegal immigrants.

David Cruz resigned from the Border Patrol last September.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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