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Smuggler Gets Nearly 7 Years for Death Involving Coast Guard Boat

Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston, Texas, patrols the Brownsville Ship Channel as approximately 120 Mexican shrimp boats seek safe harbor in the port from Hurricane Dean Aug. 23, 2007. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Andrew Kendrick)
Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston, Texas, patrols the Brownsville Ship Channel as approximately 120 Mexican shrimp boats seek safe harbor in the port from Hurricane Dean Aug. 23, 2007. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Andrew Kendrick)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A convicted human smuggler from Mexico must serve nearly seven years in a U.S. prison over the 2015 death of an immigrant struck by a Coast Guard boat as she tried to reach Texas.

Galdino Jose Ruiz-Hernandez of Oaxaca (wuh-HAH'-kah), Mexico, was sentenced Monday in Brownsville. The 38-year-old Ruiz-Hernandez was convicted of human smuggling leading to death.

Ruiz-Hernandez received 80 months for smuggling and 24 months for illegally re-entering the U.S, with the sentences concurrent. The Mexican later faces deportation.

Authorities say Ruiz-Hernandez was in the water guiding the woman through the Brownsville Ship Channel when she was hit by a Coast Guard patrol boat.

Ruiz-Hernandez was arrested after reporting that a friend told him he saw a woman's body in the channel. Officials later determined Ruiz-Hernandez was the smuggler.

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