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.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Immigrant smuggling operation broken up

48 indicted in Phoenix case involving thousands of illegals
By Howard Fischer

PHOENIX — Authorities said they broke up a sophisticated people-smuggling operation that was bringing multiple groups a day across the border in Cochise County to safe houses in Phoenix.

Two Cuban immigrants among those arrested were in charge of the operation that, on average, brought across four to six loads a day, each with six to 10 individuals who had paid $2,500 to get into the United States illegally, Phoenix police Lt. Vince Piano said Thursday.

There were 48 people named in the indictments. Ten of them were in custody.

Piano said the Cubans had been smuggling individuals for about a year — meaning they could be responsible for more than 20,000 people entering this country illegally.

But he said the operation was far more elaborate than just the two main suspects. He said it was so well organized that they actually contracted out much of the work.

For example, he said, the "transportation coordinator," whose job it was to get people from the border to Phoenix, got $650 for each person.

And that coordinator, in turn, subcontracted out work, too, paying $100 per load for the person driving the vehicle with the illegal entrants, to $350 for "scout" drivers who looked out for police.

The organization even had cooks they would pay $50 a day to feed people at the Phoenix "drop houses" where they temporarily stashed the smuggled individuals before transporting them to other parts of the country.

That same type of system existed across the border.

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