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Keep Houston Press Free
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Human Smuggler Gets A Longer Sentence

There was a bit of an uproar two years ago when one of the ringleaders of a notorious smuggling effort that resulted in 19 deaths was sentenced to only the 33 months she had already served.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new sentencing for Norma Gonzalez Sanchez, and the results came down today -- seven years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

On the bright side, she'll still get credit for those 33 months.

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Sanchez was one of the human smugglers whose dead cargo was found in a tractor-trailer in Victoria in May 2003.

After a trial, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore gave her the time-served sentence; the feds objected. Gilmore recused herself this summer, and the new sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes.

-- Richard Connelly

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