TIRANA, Albania (AP) -- An Albanian court has sentenced five people to prison on charges of arranging for more than 600 Albanians to illegally immigrate to the United States through Mexico.
The defendants, who were arrested last year, received sentences ranging from 9 to 14 years in prison, in a ruling praised by the U.S. embassy in Tirana Friday.
Thursday's court ruling found that the gang was paid $25,000 by each person they took to Mexico, via Bulgaria, Italy or Spain, and then supplied them with false documentation to enter the United States. Prosecutors said the gang made more than $15 million from its illegal activities.
The U.S. embassy said the verdicts came as "the result of a multi-agency investigation" between the two countries.