6 arrested by ICE in smuggling probe

6 arrested by ICE in smuggling probe

Posted in the Immigration Reform Forum

S Barnes

Monterey Park, CA

#1 Feb 22, 2008
The father and son owners of an Oxnard body shop were among six suspects arrested this morning on charges of running a human smuggling ring, which outfitted vehicles with hidden compartments to bring illegal immigrants into the United States from Mexico, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Edgar "Chucky" Eduardo Aceves, 26, and his father, Eduardo Aceves-Murillo, 45, both of Oxnard, are charged in a six-count indictment that was returned Wednesday afternoon by a federal grand jury. The indictment charges the Aceves with conspiracy to bring and transport illegal aliens for financial gain and related violations.

Also named in the indictment are Aceves-Murillo's daughter, Claudia Aceves, 22; two other Oxnard residents, David Fernandez, 29, and Gladys Anilu Leal, 24; and Jose Enrique Rodriguez Jr., 23, of National City.

According to the indictment, Edgar and Eduardo Aceves, who own Chucky's Auto Repair and Aceves Upholstery, bought extended cab pickup trucks and SUVs, then modified the vehicles to smuggle people into the United States. They reportedly constructed hidden compartments behind the rear bench seats of the trucks, in audio speaker boxes, and in the center consoles.

At least one person who was confined inside one of the compartments for a long period suffered second-degree burns when the compartment overheated, officials said.

The defendants are accused of using the vehicles to smuggle illegal immigrants including convicted criminals and unaccompanied juveniles into the United States through ports of entry along the California-Mexico border. The U.S. Attorney's Office is charging members of the Aceves family with conspiring to smuggle previously deported aliens who had been convicted of aggravated felonies. It marks the first time the charge, which carries enhanced penalties, has been used in the Central District of California.

"Criminal aliens are a known threat to residents of the United States," said U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien. "This alien smuggling ring knowing helped at least two criminal aliens enter the United States, and that conduct will lead to longer sentences."

All for the Almighty buck!

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