LAREDO, Texas — Federal authorities say a Mexican national has pleaded guilty to charges that he was attempting to lead a group of people across the Texas border when three died after being swept away by rushing waters.

Twenty-five-year-old Omar Gonzalez-Herrera of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, pleaded guilty Monday in Laredo, Texas, to a count of transporting immigrants resulting in death.

Authorities say he was to be paid $1,500 to help 14 people cross illegally into Texas near Laredo.

U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered the group Aug. 2 after following footprints near the Rio Grande River.

They learned that three people were carried away by the current, including a 5-year-old boy.

Gonzalez-Herrera faces up to life in prison when he’s later sentenced.

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