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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2008 | Tony Perry
Four members of a Fallbrook family were charged in federal court Monday with operating what investigators called one of the longest-running illegal immigrant smuggling rings. Maria Del Carmen Alvarez, Indalecio Alvarez-Montoya, Juan Alvarez and Patricia Marquez were charged with smuggling immigrants through the San Ysidro border crossing with phony documents and in some cases hiding them in the trunks of vehicles. Prosecutors said the ring had operated since at least 1996. Among the charges are filing false income statements and charging smuggling fees to the immigrants' "sponsors" in the United States.
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WORLD
April 13, 2014 | By Laura King
TRIPOLI, Libya - Dragging deeply on a cigarette and swirling his espresso dregs, the curly-haired young militiaman offered up a vivid account of the battles he and fellow rebels waged to bring down dictator Moammar Kadafi - days of blazing bombardment, thirsty desert nights. Then he voiced his dismay at the chokehold those same armed groups now maintain on Libya. "We fought so hard to make a new country," said the 28-year-old of Libyan extraction who left Britain to join the revolution that swept this North African nation in 2011.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2009 | Richard Marosi
A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was sentenced Friday to a seven-year prison term for conspiring to smuggle illegal immigrants and drugs through inspection lanes at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Luis Francisco Alarid, 32, was arrested in May on suspicion of permitting several vehicles filled with illegal immigrants and 11 kilograms of marijuana to enter the country. He admitted in his plea agreement to several similar smuggling attempts from February to May 2008, federal authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A 50-year-old Chula Vista man has pleaded guilty to smuggling 100 pounds of dried sea cucumbers into the U.S. from Mexico to sell on the lucrative black market. Cheng Zhuo Liu admitted in federal court that he smuggled the small marine animals into the U.S. in the spare tire area of his Hyundai. Black market value of the sea cucumbers was placed between $5,000 and $10,000, prosecutors said. Liu faces a possible five years in prison and $20,000 fine when sentenced June 9. Because of overfishing, many species of sea cucumbers are now protected by an international trade agreement.
OPINION
December 14, 2001
Re "L.A. Bus Firm Investigated in Immigrant Smuggling Scheme," Dec. 11: The Justice Department and the INS are going after the Golden State Transportation bus company. I would like to see them follow the money trail and go after the destination where these illegal aliens were being taken. The companies who hire illegal aliens are behind all this. They are the ones that provide the money for the smuggling and traffic in slave labor. I want to see the Justice Department and the INS go after the real culprits!
OPINION
December 24, 2001
Re "Tyson Foods Is Indicted in Immigrant Smuggling," Dec. 20: So much for the notion of illegal immigrants stealing jobs that belong to Americans! Obviously not all U.S. companies are willing to pay the wages American workers would demand. It is good to see the INS go after one of the greedy corporations at the root of this problem and not just the hapless immigrants who come here desperate to feed their families. Sheila Peck Huntington Beach
NATIONAL
May 19, 2009 | Associated Press
A Haitian man was charged with human smuggling Monday after federal authorities accused him of piloting a boat overloaded with migrants that capsized off Florida's coast, killing at least nine people, including a pregnant woman. Jimmy Metellus, 33, is scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday on charges of smuggling that caused the death of another person. A conviction could result in the death penalty or life in prison. Metellus, a Haitian citizen with permanent U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A 50-year-old Chula Vista man has pleaded guilty to smuggling 100 pounds of dried sea cucumbers into the U.S. from Mexico to sell on the lucrative black market. Cheng Zhuo Liu admitted in federal court that he smuggled the small marine animals into the U.S. in the spare tire area of his Hyundai. Black market value of the sea cucumbers was placed between $5,000 and $10,000, prosecutors said. Liu faces a possible five years in prison and $20,000 fine when sentenced June 9. Because of overfishing, many species of sea cucumbers are now protected by an international trade agreement.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 11, 2013 | By Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times
Federal agents have seized an estimated $100 million in art over the last two years from a prominent Manhattan antiquities dealer they describe as one of the most prolific antiquities smugglers in the world. Subhash Kapoor, a 64-year-old American citizen, awaits trial in India, where he is accused of being part of an antiquities smuggling ring that American and Indian investigators say spanned continents. U.S. authorities have issued their own arrest warrant for Kapoor, saying they have evidence he supplied stolen art to leading museums around the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2013 | By Tony Perry and Richard Marosi
Two ex-Border Patrol agents were sentenced Friday to at least 30 years in prison for smuggling more than 500 people into the U.S. Raul Villarreal, 44, was sentenced to 35 years for leading the smuggling ring. His brother, Fidel Villarreal, 45, was sentenced to 30 years for managing the operation. The sentences, meted out in San Diego federal court by U.S. District Judge John Houston, are among the longest given to border law enforcement officials. Houston said he hoped the sentences act as deterrents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | Richard Marosi
A U.S. Border Patrol agent patrolling a smuggling trail in the mountains east of San Diego shot and killed a suspect Tuesday morning after being struck in the head during a rock attack, federal and San Diego County authorities said. The confrontation occurred about 6:30 a.m. on Otay Mountain, which is heavily used for illegal crossings into San Diego. Agents patrolling in SUVs and all-terrain vehicles crisscross the mountain around the clock. The agent opened fire after being hit in the face with a rock thrown by a noncitizen who was suspected of crossing the border illegally, San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.
NATIONAL
February 12, 2014 | By John M. Glionna
COLUMBUS, N.M. - Each morning, embattled Mayor Nicole Lawson performs a private ritual in this tiny U.S.-Mexico border village of 1,600 isolated souls, a forgotten place with mostly unpaved roads and not a single stoplight. After brushing her teeth, she pads over to a white note board bearing only an oversize number scrawled in black. On this mid-January morning, she wipes away the "58," replacing it with "57. " With a sigh of satisfaction, Lawson, 39, counts down yet another difficult day until the end of her term running a hamlet that may be one of America's most dysfunctional communities.
NATIONAL
February 3, 2014 | By David Zucchino
Louis DiNatale didn't intend to enter Canada when he and his wife wound up on a bridge from New York state to Ontario province one day in September, misdirected by an unreliable GPS. What began as an American couple's getaway to Vermont quickly turned into a lesson on the stark difference between the U.S. and Canada when it comes to gun laws. DiNatale, whose request to turn around and cross back into the U.S. was denied, then made another mistake. When a border official asked whether he had any weapons, he said no. Then the questions started about guns.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2013 | By Annlee Ellingson
The immigrant smuggler at the center of "Coyote" is hardly a cartel-hardened pollero . Rather, Brian (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.) is a white, middle-class Angeleno pushing 30 and still living at home. When he loses his job teaching a food-handling course for being too explicit in his descriptions about how bacteria spread, his metalhead Uncle Jimmy (Dennis W. Hall) gives him a gig in construction - as well as dubious life advice. In his new dirty job, Brian's germaphobia is swiftly replaced by a new obsession with his Latino co-workers, who, peddling in stereotypes, include a benevolent gardener working for a better life for his sons and a gangster electrician with a stash of loot left over from the riots.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- For the second time this month, Coast Guard personnel shot out the engine of a panga boat attempting to flee after being detected in an attempt to smuggle marijuana into the U.S., authorities said Wednesday. The latest incident occured 155 miles southwest of San Diego on Tuesday morning and involved a panga carrying 7,100 pounds of marijuana. Three suspected smugglers were taken into custody. The first incident occurred Dec. 2 about 140 miles southwest of San Diego.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2013 | By Steve Chawkins
Over four years, Merrell Williams Jr. came up with a number of effective ways to smuggle documents from work. A $9-an-hour paralegal at a tobacco company's law firm in Louisville, Ky., Williams tucked a few memos at a time into a slit he cut in the lining of his overcoat. Sometimes he stashed cigarette marketing plans and medical studies under his shirt, between his skin and an old weight-loss corset. Then there were the days he wore his pants extra baggy, all the better to slide embarrassing correspondence under the waistband.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2013 | By Times Staff Writer
Immigration authorities are looking into possible human smuggling after a panga boat was found Tuesday morning on the shore of Mugu Rock, Ventura County sheriff's officials said. California Highway Patrol officials responded about 6:10 a.m. to a report about the beached vessel. Ventura County sheriff's officials and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were called to assist, said Capt. Don Aguilar of the Sheriff's Department. “We frequently have boats that wash ashore, whether it's for drugs or human smuggling, but this one we believe is suspected of human smuggling,” Capt.
NATIONAL
November 26, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - A firearms dealer convicted during the fallout from the government's failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking program may soon be set free after winning a court battle for a new sentencing hearing. A federal magistrate has ruled that Ian Garland deserves a new hearing because of errors made when a judge initially sent him to prison for five years. Prosecutors, while acknowledging mistakes, plan to oppose early release for Garland. They hope to present new evidence at the Dec. 13 hearing that he knew many of the 190 firearms he sold to city officials in Columbus, N.M., were being smuggled into Mexico.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2013 | By Richard Marosi
SAN DIEGO -- Suspected drug traffickers paddling across the border in four marijuana-filled kayaks were intercepted by U.S. authorities Friday near San Diego, resulting in the seizure of 297 pounds of drugs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said. After Border Patrol agents detected the kayaks off the Imperial Beach coast at 4 a.m., the four suspects jumped out of their kayaks and tried to swim ashore. Their attempted escape was foiled by a  U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter that shined a spotlight on the men, allowing agents to make the arrests.
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