- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Three Fort Hood soldiers who used their U.S. Army identification or gear to help hide immigrants have been convicted in a South Texas smuggling ring.

Eric Alexander Rodriguez of Odem, Brandon Troy Robbins of San Antonio and Christopher David Wix of Abilene face federal prison terms of up to 10 years.

Rodriguez and Robbins on Thursday pleaded guilty in Brownsville to transporting undocumented immigrants. Wix pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented immigrants.

Investigators say all three soldiers, in separate incidents since April, were driving in South Texas and had stopped at the Sarita (suh-REE’-tuh) checkpoint. Individuals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally were found hiding under military gear during each of the stops.

Officials eventually linked the human smuggling cases.

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