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 17, 2008

Nearly 50 people charged with working for human smuggling ring

JACQUES BILLEAUD

Published: 02.15.2008

Forty-eight people accused of taking part in an immigrant trafficking ring have been indicted on human smuggling and money laundering charges, authorities said.

The group brought in as much as $130,000 a week moving people from Naco, Mexico, to its center of operations in Phoenix and then to destinations across the United States, Phoenix police Lt. Vince Piano said Thursday.

Piano said the ring was believed to be one of the biggest operating in Arizona, the busiest illegal entry point into the country.

"It's not the end of the game, but we believe we have made some very important intelligence directions in the fight against the smugglers," said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, whose office was prosecuting the case.

Ten of the 48 suspects were arrested. An additional 10 people who are expected to face charges in the future also were netted in the sweep, authorities said.

The investigation led to the discovery of 13 "drop houses" in Phoenix where human smugglers hold customers until they pay up and are sent to their final destinations. The area is believed to have about 1,000 drop houses.

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