Border Agents To Be Sentenced For Smuggling Immigrants Into the US

Facing maximum of 50 years in prison


SAN DIEGO –  Two brothers who worked as Border Patrol agents were scheduled to be sentenced Friday for smuggling hundreds of immigrants into the United States in one of the highest-profile corruption cases to sting the federal agency in a decade.

Raul and Fidel Villarreal face a maximum of 50 years in prison and at least $1.25 million in penalties when they appear before U.S. District Court Judge John A. Houston in San Diego.

Prosecutors said Raul Villarreal -- who made television appearances as an agency spokesman and once played the role of a smuggler in a public service ad --recruited his brother to his ring that smuggled in Mexicans and Brazilians. One Brazilian woman told investigators she paid $12,000 to cross.