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COUPLE ADMITS CHARGES OF IMMIGRANT SMUGGLING

A couple pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to charges of smuggling dozens of illegal immigrants from Peru and forcing them into "virtual servitude" to pay for their passage.

Jorge Ibanez and Maruiluz Zavala, both 43 and both resident aliens, entered the pleas under a deal with prosecutors. Charges include conspiring to commit forced labor, transporting undocumented workers and providing them with forged green cards.

The couple was arrested during June 21 raids on three houses they owned in Suffolk County, where authorities found 69 aliens, including 13 children, living in what were described as squalid conditions.

Ibanez and Zavala could face more than seven years in federal prison under the agreement, which includes fines of up to $250,000 each.

They also agreed to surrender property and bank accounts, and to be deported following their prison terms.

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