Nearly a dozen people have been arrested in an alleged South Texas human smuggling ring operating since March.
Federal prosecutors in Brownsville on Thursday announced the suspects are charged with conspiracy and harboring immigrants.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson says a nine-count indictment was returned Tuesday, leading to arrests on Wednesday. The defendants are from La Feria, Brownsville, Alton and Harlingen.
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Magidson says the suspects are accused of operating an immigrant smuggling scheme and providing the individuals with fake identification documents.
The indictment also includes a notice of forfeiture of two residential properties in La Feria and Harlingen.