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Man gets 8 years in prison for extorting immigrants

BRIDGEPORT  — A New York City man convicted in an extortion scheme that involved kidnapping immigrants at a bus station has been sentenced in Connecticut to eight years in prison.

A federal judge in Bridgeport handed down the punishment Monday to 56-year-old Carlos Hernandez, who was one of four people convicted in the case.

Prosecutors say the defendants targeted immigrants after they got off buses in New York City, coerced them into vehicles and refused to let them go until relatives paid a ransom, usually around $1,000.

The victims included men, women and children from Central American countries who did not speak English and were seeking asylum in the U.S.

Some of them were headed to Connecticut.

Two other defendants have been sentenced to prison and another awaits sentencing.

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