Retired THP officer pleads guilty to smuggling woman into US

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A retired Tennessee Highway Patrol sergeant has pleaded guilty to transporting a woman into the country illegally.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith says 70-year-old Ronald Edward Strickland pleaded guilty Tuesday in Nashville federal court.

Court documents say Strickland planned to smuggle the 22-year-old old woman from Honduras into the U.S.

Filings say Strickland texted her in January 2016 about meeting for a sexual relationship. He texted someone in Honduras, among others, about it.

The documents say Strickland drove to Houston, Texas in July 2016 to get the woman and drive her to his Franklin, Tennessee home.

An investigation found Strickland paid a coyote $8,000 to smuggle her, and Strickland had an apartment in Honduras and regularly traveled there.

He faces five years in prison maximum. His sentencing is Oct. 17.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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