U.S. Border Patrol agents Wednesday broke up a suspected smuggling ring that is believed to have taken as many as 300 illegal aliens a month from Tijuana to Orange and Los Angeles counties, a Border Patrol spokesman said.
Agents entered the suspected "drop house" in the 1000 block of Vulcan Avenue in Encinitas about 8:30 a.m. and arrested three people suspected of operating the ring, said Ed Pyeatt, a Border Patrol spokesman. Thirteen undocumented Mexican aliens also were arrested.
Those arrested were Juan Jaramillo-Roldan, 38, of Tijuana; Hermelinda Banuelos-Rivera, 30, of the Encinitas address, and an unidentified 17-year-old youth, Pyeatt said.
The ring is suspected of charging aliens as much as $300 to be led across the border and transported by car to Orange and Los Angeles counties.
Five special agents had been investigating the ring since January, Pyeatt said.