- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

LAREDO, Texas (AP) - A South Texas man has been convicted of human smuggling and helping to hide more than 20 immigrants in hotel rooms.

Gustavo Villegas of Laredo was convicted Tuesday night of four counts of harboring immigrants for profit. The 38-year-old Villegas remains in custody pending sentencing by a federal judge in Laredo.

Prosecutors say Villegas last July participated in a conspiracy to smuggle and harbor 21 immigrants at two hotels in Laredo. Law enforcement officers used surveillance to locate the immigrants and track vehicles to Villegas, who was arrested in October.

Investigators say Villegas rented at least one of the hotel rooms.

Further details on sentencing weren’t immediately available.

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