Human traffickers sentenced to 10 years

May 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

PHOENIX, May 8 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Phoenix sentenced several members of a human-smuggling ring from Mexico to up to 10 years in prison.

Authorities received an anonymous tip from California that said the tipster's family members were being held in a house and that smugglers were demanding $10,000 to set them free.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents reported to the home in January, where they found 21 undocumented migrants, Courthouse News Service reported Tuesday.

The migrants were being held hostage, were being abused and were kept in unsanitary conditions, court filings indicate.

Victims told authorities that they were regularly threatened with weapons and beaten, and one victim said he was hung in a closet by his wrists and ankles for up to three hours.

Authorities arrested the smugglers -- Uriel Parra-Lerma, Juan Jose Parra-Labrador, Sergio Sarabia-Sarabia and Felipe Sarabia-Labrador -- all of whom were in the country illegally, court filings indicate.

They each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harboring illegal aliens.

U.S. District Judge James Teilborg sentenced Parra-Lerma, Parra-Labrador and Sarabia-Sarabia each to 10 years in federal Parisian, the maximum allowable sentence, the Courthouse News Service reported.

Teilborg sentenced Sarabia-Labrador to nine years.

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