Santa Clarita Truck Driver Pleads Guilty To Ferrying Illegal Immigrants

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A California truck driver has pleaded guilty in a New Mexico court to a charge that he transported illegal immigrants.

Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Ulises Lluch-Valdes of Santa Clarita entered his plea Tuesday in Las Cruces.

He was arrested in March and released on a $5,000 bond. He remains on release pending his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

The charge stems from a stop at a border patrol checkpoint in southern New Mexico. During an inspection, agents found three illegal immigrants hiding inside the cab of his tractor-trailer.

Prosecutors say Lluch-Valdes admitted that he was charging the three men $800 each to transport them to California.

Lluch-Valdes faces up to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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