News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Body shop owners among six arrested by ICE in alien smuggling probe

California ring allegedly outfitted vehicles with hidden compartments to bring aliens into U.S.

LOS ANGELES - The father and son owners of an Oxnard, Calif., body shop were among six suspects arrested this morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on charges of running a human smuggling ring that outfitted vehicles with hidden compartments and used those vehicles to bring illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico.

Edgar "Chucky" Eduardo Aceves, 26, and his father, Eduardo Aceves-Murillo, 45, both of Oxnard, are charged in a six-count indictment that was returned yesterday afternoon by a federal grand jury. The indictment charges the Aceves with conspiracy to bring and transport illegal aliens for financial gain and related violations. Also named in the indictment are Eduardo's daughter, Claudia Aceves, 22; two other Oxnard residents, David Fernandez, 29, and Gladys Anilu Leal, 24; and Jose Enrique Rodriguez, Jr., 23, of National City, Calif.

The defendants are accused of using the specially equipped vehicles to smuggle illegal aliens -including convicted criminals and unaccompanied juveniles - into the United States through ports of entry along the California-Mexico border. Based on evidence the organization knowingly smuggled criminal aliens into the country, the United States Attorney's Office is charging members of the Aceves family with conspiring to smuggle previously deported aliens who had been convicted of aggravated felonies. This case marks the first time the charge, which carries enhanced penalties, has been used in the Central District of California.

"Criminal aliens are a known threat to residents of the United States," said United States Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien. "My office devotes significant resources to identify, prosecute and incarcerate illegal aliens who commit other crimes while in this country. This alien smuggling ring knowing helped at least two criminal aliens enter the United States, and that conduct will lead to longer sentences."

The indictment describes 25 smuggling incidents involving the Aceves organization going back nearly three years. The defendants allegedly charged aliens up to $3,000 to transport them from Mexico to Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

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