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Brownsville Man Convicted In Prison Smuggling Ring

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File photo of a prison cell block. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a prison cell block. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A South Texas man faces up to life in prison for his role in a drug and contraband smuggling ring linked to a state prison.

A federal jury in Corpus Christi on Wednesday convicted 40-year-old Juan Ledezma of Brownsville of drug trafficking conspiracy. The case involved prison gangs, drug deals and items such as cellphones smuggled into the McConnell Unit near Beeville.

Prosecutors say Ledezma acted as an intermediary between drug traffickers in South Texas and Mexico.

No sentencing date was immediately set for Ledezma, who also could be fined up to $8 million. He remains in custody.

Federal authorities earlier this year announced 32 people were indicted, including some McConnell Unit guards. Investigators say 29 people have been convicted, two are fugitives and one defendant awaits trial.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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