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Dec 1, 2011 6:13 AM by Kate Richards

85-year-old migrant smuggler faces jail time

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Federal prosecutors in San Diego want an 85-year-old woman to spend more than three years in prison for smuggling migrants to the United States illegally.

Felicitas Gurrola is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday. She stands out at a time when the smuggling business has turned increasingly violent and is dominated by large, mostly male operations that choose perilous routes through remote mountains and deserts.

Investigators say Gurrola ran a mostly female smuggling ring and picked the busiest U.S. border post for her crossing of choice. The legal U.S. resident had customers assume false identities to get past border inspectors.

Her attorney says she ran her business for four decades without hurting any of her customers.

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