National Guardsman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy

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(AP) - A National Guardsman accused of helping transport illegal immigrants has pleaded guilty in Laredo to a felony conspiracy charge.

Twenty-six-year-old Private First Class Jose Rodrigo Torres was one of three guardsmen accused of helping undocumented immigrants passed a checkpoint on Interstate 35.

Sergeants Julio Cesar Pacheco and Clarence Hodge Junior have pleaded not guilty.

Torres admitted that on June 7th, he drove through the checkpoint in a van, leased by the Texas Army National Guard, with 24 undocumented immigrants.

Prosecutors say Torres was in uniform and expected to be paid $3,000.

Torres also says he conspired to transport more than 100 immigrants starting in May.

Torres, who remains in custody, faces up to ten years in federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines. No sentencing date has been set.