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Smuggling-ring driver guilty

Long-haul trucker Tyrone Mapletoft Williams was found guilty Wednesday by a federal jury on 38 counts of transporting illegal immigrants.

Williams was involved with a cross-border human smuggling operation that led to the deaths of 19 people when he abandoned the sweltering trailer they were confined to in Victoria, TX, on May 14, 2003.

More than 70 people from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala had been crammed into the trailer.

The illegal immigrants were charged about $1,800 each for the ride; Williams was paid $7,500.

According to the Associated Press, Williams was spared the death penalty sought by the Justice Dept., but could face life in prison.

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