CRIME

BROWNSVILLE — A Mexican man living in the U.S. illegally must serve 20 months in prison for arranging immigrants to be smuggled by Fort Hood soldiers through a Texas border checkpoint.

Victoriano Zamora-Jasso was sentenced Wednesday in Brownsville. The 54-year-old Zamora-Jasso in January pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and harbor immigrants and illegal re-entry after deportation.

Investigators say four soldiers from Fort Hood in 2014 showed Army identification and hid immigrants under military gear to get through the Sarita checkpoint.

All four soldiers pleaded guilty. Christopher David Wix, 21, of Abilene, was sentenced to one year in prison in July 2015. Eric Alexander Rodriguez and Brandon Troy Robbins were sentenced to one year and 20 months in prison, respectively. Yashira Marie Perez-Morales of Killeen received five years probation.

Wix, Rodriguez and Robbins were all privates with the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Wix tried to bring two people across the border in his vehicle in June 2014, officials said.

Records show Zamora-Jasso was deported in 2013, but returned to Texas. He was indicted in 2016 and arrested last year near Houston.

The soldiers were convicted of immigrant smuggling-related counts, with sentences ranging from probation to 20 months in prison. Another civilian was sentenced to six years in prison.

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