A former US Border Patrol agent in Texas has been sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for his role in an immigrant smuggling attempt.
William John Ferrone, 42, also was fined $5,000 in a ruling Monday by a federal judge. He pleaded guilty in September to a charge of conspiring to transport illegal immigrants.
Ferrone, who is free on bail, was accused of working with a smuggler from Mexico to usher a group of illegal immigrants through the desert near Laredo before picking them up along a highway north of a Border Patrol checkpoint.
He was arrested in July after federal agents were told about a black sport utility vehicle spotted stopping for a group of illegal immigrants along the highway. Eleven migrants from Mexico and Honduras were found inside the vehicle, prosecutors said.
Ferrone's lawyer, Isidro Alaniz, said his client has "expressed his remorse and regret for this one-time offense" and is looking forward to moving on with his life.