Still No Verdict in Immigrant Smuggling Trial

Jurors in the federal trial of three accused immigrant smugglers have wrapped-up another day of deliberations with no verdict. As Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports, the panel earlier said it was deadlocked, but the judge in the case told them to keep trying

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The case involves three members of an alleged smuggling ring that prosecutors say played roles in the deaths of 19 immigrants who were locked inside a tractor trailer found near Victoria in May of 2003. Jurors have now deliberated for a total of 12 hours over three days with no verdict. University of Houston sociology professor Nestor Rodriguez says regardless of the outcome, not much is likely to change.

Rodriguez says he doubts smugglers are paying much attention at all the proceedings here in Houston.

The three defendents face a total of 43 counts of conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal aliens. If convicted, they could face from 10 years to life in prison.

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