Colombian gets 15 years in prison for trafficking Cubans to US

A Colombian man was sentenced to 15 years in a US prison Tuesday for human trafficking, in a case that involved three Cuban migrants, a rape and two murders, prosecutors said.

Fredis Valencia Palacios, 30, was sentenced by the judge of the Southern District of Florida, Jose Martinez, who also ordered him to serve three years of probation after serving his prison sentence.

Valencia, extradited to the United States last April, pleaded guilty on September 25 to conspiracy charges to encourage and induce foreigners to enter the United States illegally.

According to court documents, Valencia had trafficked people to the United States from Colombia, via Panama, since 2014. They crossed through a thick jungle area where migrants often sneak into Panama, on their way to the United States.

Authorities said two other Colombians, Jhoan Stiven Carreazo Asprilla and Carlos Emilio Ibarguen Palacios, were also extradited to the United States for this case, for operating alongside Valencia.

In 2016, three Cubans who wanted to arrive in Miami paid Valencia to help them cross the border between Colombia and Panama.

On September 7, 2016, Valencia delivered the three migrants, two men and one woman, to his partners Carreazo and Ibarguen.

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