3 Texas siblings get prison in immigrants case

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McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Three South Texas siblings have been sentenced to prison over the September abduction and harboring of about a dozen immigrants.

A federal judge in McAllen late Wednesday sentenced 25-year-old Rafael Cruz to 40 years in prison. His brother, 27-year-old Roberto Cruz, must serve 30 years in prison.

The brothers from Mission in February pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit hostage taking. Prosecutors say Rafael Cruz also sexually assaulted a female immigrant.

Their sister, 30-year-old Jisel Emery Cruz of Penitas (puh-NEE’-t’s), was sentenced to nearly four years after being convicted of harboring immigrants.

Investigators say the Cruz brothers kidnapped about a dozen people - believed to be in the U.S illegally - from one stash house, took them to another home and demanded cash for their release.

One immigrant called 911.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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