Austin man gets 4 years in human smuggling case

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent and K-9 security dog keep watch at a checkpoint station, on Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent and K-9 security dog keep watch at a checkpoint station, on Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A Texas man has been sentenced to four years in prison in a human smuggling case involving a teen allegedly assaulted as she was being driven to New Jersey.

A federal judge in Corpus Christi on Wednesday sentenced 47-year-old Jose Gallegos (guy-YAY’-gohs) of Austin. Jurors in December convicted Gallegos of harboring and transporting an undocumented person.

He was captured last summer at a South Texas border checkpoint with a scantily clad 18-year-old woman as his passenger.

The teen testified she was being smuggled from Mexico to New Jersey, was forced to wear suggestive clothing and was sexually abused by Gallegos under threat of death.

Investigators say Gallegos kept the teen and other immigrants at a Palmview motel for two weeks prior to his arrest.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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