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3 indicted in illegal immigrant smuggling case

Three men who allegedly guarded hundreds of smuggled Central and South American illegal immigrants at a “drop house” in Lynwood were indicted Friday by a federal grand jury.

Gustavo Sanchez-Lopez, 30; Diego Martinez-Gonzalez, 28; and Francisco Moreno-Lopez, 55, are accused of holding the immigrants until relatives could pay as much as $13,000, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office. The men claimed to be Mexican, but are believed to be from Guatemala, he said.

The suspects were arrested last month when authorities served a search warrant at a house on South Virginia Avenue. At the time, authorities found 37 illegal immigrants, but Mrozek said investigators think the men harbored as many as 336 during a two-month period.

The illegal immigrants allegedly were threatened with beatings or death if their relatives did not pay the smuggling fee quickly, Mrozek said.

According to the indictment, Martinez-Gonzalez and Sanchez-Lopez told female immigrants that they would be given blankets or jackets, or be allowed to shower, in exchange for sex.

If convicted, each man faces a maximum penalty of 60 years in federal prison.

--Hector Becerra

 
Comments () | Archives (7)

Only 3? C'mon guys... you can do better than that.

This has been going on for years! I know a woman who paid tons of money to have her brother smuggled in from Colombia thru a Guatemalan ring. The first time, she traveled to Chiapas, Mexico where he was held in an illegal alien camp. She paid a lot of money to have him transferred to Mexico City. From there she was able to have him transported to a 'safe house' in Los Angeles. She told me it was horrible; many dozens packed into an apartment building run by "Russians". She had to pay money to the Guatemalans, and the Russians to release her brother. To this day, her brother refuses to discuss what he had to undergo. It's his own fault because he was involved in a drug smuggling group, ripped them off, then had to escape Colombia to survive. He is still hiding, and will never be free.

it's ok 3 can hang high too. we'll take them.

Dave has a good statement.....only 3 even in a criminal enterprise is logistically not possible. just for amusement lets see....
1 delivery guy to drop off illegal and collect money.
1 to go to store and get some food for smugglers and smugglees ( I know made up word)
1 to guard 300+
This guys must have experience on sardine packing even then there is only so much room.

there have to be more than 3 criminals involved.....on the wright side....3 less smugglers on the streets for about 3 to 6 months.

Maybe the others the police are looking for are police officers them selves? What they be broder agents?

Wow! Illegal aliens doing jobs Americans won't do, amazing! By the way, these millions of illegal aliens that steal across our borders because there are no jobs in their homelands and they will starve to death otherwise are filthy rich apparently. It seems a lot of people are lying about the poverty and joblessness of these criminal illegal aliens.

Huh? The entire city of LA is a drop house. It's run by Tony Villar. For those uninformed, LA is a "sanctuary city".
That means it's a place where illegal alien criminals can live without fear of reprisal or deportation. That of course is illegal and uncontitutional, but who follows that document anymore?

The city government is essentially a criminal protection racket, in other words, organized crime.

So much for that touted "rule of law".


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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