(CNN) — Not the first, second or third, but the 24th time proved the charm for U.S. authorities.
Efrain Delgado-Rosales was sentenced last week to five years in prison for smuggling four non-U.S. citizens into the United States.
He was caught by Border Patrol in October, marking the 24th time Delgado-Rosales had been apprehended by the agency since July 1999, according to officials.
The other times he was nabbed, he was not charged.
He was processed and deported to Mexico, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Foster, where Delgado-Rosales is a citizen.
Only once, out of the 24 times, was he apprehended alone. All the other times, he was caught with other undocumented individuals.
In 2003, he was apprehended at a Los Angeles house with 61 other undocumented immigrants, according to officials.
“This case serves as an example of the extreme dangers associated with crossing illegally into the United States. Smuggling activities are run by criminal organizations that have little concern over the welfare of their charges,” Laura Duffy, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, said in a statement.
“Our office will aggressively prosecute those who smuggle illegal aliens into the United States for financial gain, place those in their company in grave danger and needlessly cause deaths.”
CNN’s Vivian Kuo contributed to this report.
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