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19-Year-Old Sentenced for Role in Local Human Smuggling Organization

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MCALLEN – A Donna teen will spend five years in federal prison for smuggling people across the border illegally.

According to court records, the 19-year-old had a primary role in a local human smuggling organization.

They state Jesse Zuniga coordinated at least two separate smuggling attempts last year.  

In one incident he oversaw, 16 people in the country illegally were involved in a rollover crash after the driver, a Honduran national, tried to evade U.S. Border Patrol agents in Donna.

A U.S. citizen pleaded guilty to her role in the April event and is set for sentencing on June 18.

Zuniga will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a federal facility.

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