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LOS ANGELES (AP) — An illegal immigrant from Guatemala has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in Los Angeles for directing a human smuggling operation in which men and women were held against their will, denied food and physically assaulted.

Pedro Marcos-Marcos could have served as much as a life in prison after pleading guilty to five felony counts, but a federal judge said Monday that a life term was excessive. Marcos-Marcos also was ordered to serve five years of probation.

Prosecutors say Marcos-Marcos ordered the brutal treatment of a Salvadoran who was attacked with a cattle prod and kept naked in a Lancaster drop house. They say he also ran another drop house in San Bernardino where a woman was raped when relatives didn’t pay her smuggling fee.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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