News/US: Federal grand jury indicts eight men for smuggling,

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Subject: News/US: Federal grand jury indicts eight men for smuggling,
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Dec 20 1999 - 21:17:56 EST


>
>Federal grand jury indicts eight men for smuggling, beating immgrants
>December 15, 1999
>
>LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Eight men were indicted for sneaking undocumented
>immigrants into the United States who authorities said were then beaten and
>raped when they could not pay the smuggling fees.
>
>A federal grand jury on Tuesday handed down an indictment charging each
>defendant with five counts, plus two additional allegations, including
>conspiracy, harboring and concealing undocumented aliens, and hostage taking.
>
>"The indictment charges that these defendants engaged in savage abuse of
>young immigrants to this country and preyed upon those who were vulnerable
>and scared," U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
>
>The men, all Mexican citizens, were scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 27. They
>were being held without bail.
>
>One man told authorities he was beaten with wrenches and forced to watch as
>nearly 20 men raped and sodomized his aunt and girlfriend because they were
>unable to pay a smugglers' fee of $1,200 each.
>
>Authorities were alerted to the attacks when two victims contacted the
>Ventura County Sheriff's Department to report the abuse. Days later,
>authorities said, one of the defendants called a victim to ask for
>forgiveness and then led authorities to a home where immigrants were being
>held.
>
>The alleged leader of the smuggling ring, Mario Arenas-Morales, 31, is also
>named in two other smuggling cases, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
>
>Also charged in the case were Carlos Garcia-Serrano, 35; Oscar
>Lopez-Serrano, 24; Marcelino Flores-Lesama, 19; Manuel Gonzalez-Garcia, 23;
>Ruben Amezcua-Casa, 24; Jose Luis Martinez-Salazar, 22; and Leonel
>Estudillo-Martinez, 21.
>
>Arenas-Morales was also charged with assaulting a federal officer with a
>car and Gonzalez-Garcia was charged with being an undocumented immigrant in
>the United States after being deported.
>
>If convicted, the defendants each face a sentence of between 10 years to
>life in prison.
>

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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