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Human smuggler sentenced to prison in Arizona

PHOENIX -- Federal prosecutors said a Guatemalan-born man accused of running a human-smuggling operation between Mexico and the U.S. will serve nearly six years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Arizona announced Thursday that 37-year-old Rony Abimael Gonzalez-Herrera was sentenced in Phoenix to 57 months in federal custody.

Gonzalez-Herrera pleaded guilty in January to transporting and harboring people who were believed to be in the country illegally.

He was accused of operating a smuggling organization based in Little Rock, Ark., from 2012 until April 2013.

Prosecutors said Gonzalez-Herrera illegally transported more than 800 people from Mexico into the U.S. in exchange for money from their families. He used multiple "stash houses" in Phoenix.

Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested him in Little Rock in May 2013.

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