Mexican man sentenced in Ariz human smuggling case

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A Mexican man accused of being a ringleader in a human smuggling operation that brought several thousand illegal immigrants to Phoenix drop houses has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Arizona prosecutors said Friday that 28-year-old Rosalio Palacios also was ordered by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to pay a $46,000 fine.

Authorities say Palacios is an illegal immigrant living in Phoenix. He pleaded guilty to five felony charges - human smuggling, participating in a criminal syndicate, illegal control of an enterprise, illegal use of a wire/electronic communication, and fraudulent schemes and practices.

Prosecutors say Palacios' organization smuggled illegal immigrants from Mexico to Phoenix in the past several years and then on to various parts of the U.S. for up to $1,800 per person.

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