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Two US Border Patrol agents have been found guilty of running a profitable human smuggling ring that may have earned US$2 million. The brothers Raul Villarreal, 42, and Fidel Villarreal, 43, were convicted of using their power for their own advantage, charging money to help hundreds of illegal immigrants enter the US from Mexico. The two heard their verdicts after a five-week trial that was concluded by a one-day deliberation by the jury.
In 2006, the two brothers caught word of the investigation and fled to Mexico, settling in the border city of Tijuana. Two years later, they were caught and extradited to the US to face federal charges.
The brothers are facing a maximum of 50 years in prison and a minimum $1.25 million in penalties.