3 get nearly 22-year prison terms over Texas stash house

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Three men linked to a South Texas stash house must each serve nearly 22 years in prison for holding Mexican immigrants for ransom.

Federal prosecutors in McAllen said the trio pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit hostage taking in the 2014 incident in Pharr.

Julio Vargas-Hernandez, Gustavo Morales-Manriquez and Osiris Bulos-Gonzalez of Edinburg were sentenced Tuesday. Vargas-Hernandez and Morales-Manriquez are from Mexico and will face deportation proceedings after they finish their U.S. prison terms.

Officers on Feb. 9, 2014, received a 911 call from one of the immigrants who said he and others were threatened with death unless their families paid a ransom. The immigrants were rescued.

Investigators say a firearm was used to hold the immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. illegally.