[Stop-traffic] News/US: 6 convicted of smuggling immigrants

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: 6 convicted of smuggling immigrants
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Sep 22 2000 - 09:26:51 EDT

6 convicted of smuggling immigrants
The Associated Press, September 1, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A federal jury has convicted six men of holding hostage
the undocumented immigrants they smuggled from Mexico, then beating and
raping some of them when they could not pay the smugglers' fee.

The six men were among seven people, all Mexican citizens, indicted last
December. One defendant, Marcelino Flores-Lesama, 19, was acquitted.

The others face as much as life in prison when sentenced Dec. 11 by U.S.
District Judge George H. King.

One victim 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 to report the abuse. Authorities found immigrants
crammed in two homes in Los Angeles County's San Fernando Valley.

The alleged leader of the smuggling ring was Mario Arenas-Morales, 31.

Also convicted Thursday: Carlos Garcia-Serrano, 35; Oscar Lopez-Serrano,
24; Manuel Gonzalez-Garcia, 23; Ruben Amezcua-Casa, 24; Jose Luis
Garcia-Deleaon, 22.

They have been held in federal custody without bail since December.

Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

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