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Three Fort Hood soldiers plead guilty in immigrant-smuggling ring

WALKER CANYON, AZ - MARCH 06:  A U.S. Border Patrol agent guards a group of Mexican immigrants caught after they crossed into the United States on March 6, 2013 near Walker Canyon, Arizona. Due to broad federal sequestration budget cuts, Border Patrol agents are expected to begin taking unpaid furlough days in April, as Customs and Border Protection funding is expected to be reduced by more than $500 million. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

WALKER CANYON, AZ - MARCH 06: A U.S. Border Patrol agent guards a group of Mexican immigrants caught after they crossed into the United States on March 6, 2013 near Walker Canyon, Arizona. Due to broad federal sequestration budget cuts, Border Patrol agents are expected to begin taking unpaid furlough days in April, as Customs and Border Protection funding is expected to be reduced by more than $500 million. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)  (2013 Getty Images)

Three Fort Hood soldiers who used their U.S. Army identification or gear to help hide immigrants have been convicted in a South Texas smuggling ring.

Eric Alexander Rodriguez of Odem, Texas, Brandon Troy Robbins of San Antonio and Christopher David Wix, both of Abilene, face federal prison terms of up to 10 years.

Rodriguez and Robbins on Thursday pleaded guilty in Brownsville to transporting undocumented immigrants. Wix pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented immigrants.

Investigators say all three soldiers, in separate incidents since April, were driving in South Texas and had stopped at the Sarita checkpoint. Individuals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally were found hiding under military gear during each of the stops.

Officials eventually linked the human smuggling cases.

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