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Suspected human smuggler says gunman threatened his family

Published On: Oct 20 2013 07:29:26 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 21 2013 04:26:01 AM CDT

McALLEN - (AP) -

A South Texas man tells authorities the only reason he was illegally smuggling people into the U.S. from Mexico was because gunmen were threatening to kill his family if he refused.
    
The Monitor of McAllen reports (http://bit.ly/1eAzxQ1 ) Edward Montelongo is facing federal charges after he was arrested last week trying to smuggle 13 people authorities say were wading across the Rio Grande River south of the town of Mission.
    
Court records show 21-year-old Montelongo, a U.S. citizen, had previously been caught guiding people into the U.S. in February, August and September.
    
Montelongo told Border Patrol agents that he had stopped smuggling individuals, but that earlier this month he was kidnapped from his home, taken to Mexico and tortured and threatened into resuming the illegal activity.