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LAX worker faces smuggling charges

California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

September 13, 2008|Anna Gorman

A longtime elevator mechanic at Los Angeles International Airport was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury for allegedly smuggling in illegal immigrants from Mexico by leading them out of the terminal before they went through the federal screening process.

Roberto Amaya Canchola, 53, of North Hills faces federal charges of bringing illegal immigrants into the United States for private financial gain and of failing to present the immigrants to federal authorities for screening. If convicted on all six counts, he could face a maximum of 10 years in prison on each count.

Canchola was arrested last month after a sting operation involving federal immigration agents. Authorities believe he smuggled in at least 15 illegal immigrants, including two with criminal records who previously had been deported.

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