The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico said 30-year-old Samuel Elliott of Columbus pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces.
His brother, 28-year-old Robert Steven Elliott, also of Columbus, pleaded guilty in January.
The brothers were arrested in September. A criminal complaint said Border Patrol agents responding to a tip went to a trailer in Columbus where they found Mexican nationals who admitted being in the United States illegally.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Samuel Elliott subsequently tried to use a Columbus Fire Department vehicle to transport the immigrants through a Border Patrol checkpoint.
The criminal complaint says Samuel Elliott activated the vehicle’s emergency sirens to avoid inspection at the checkpoint and drove through the checkpoint. Samuel Elliott then met up with Robert Elliott with the intention of transferring the immigrants to Robert so he could transport them to Phoenix.
Their plans were disrupted by agents who had been following the emergency vehicle at a distance.
The brothers await sentencing. Each faces up to 10 years in prison.