-- News Release --
Cleveland – March 23, 2006 -- The US attorney for Northern District of Ohio announced that ICE and several law enforcement agencies are charging 25 defendants with 23 counts of human smuggling.
" This morning arrest warrants were executed in: Phoenix, Ariz.; Painesville, Ohio; and Grand Rapids, Mich. A total of 21 individuals were arrested. Other items seized include: $100,000 U.S. currency, two assault rifles with drum magazines, nine handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, numerous fraudulent documents along with the take down of two-drop houses with 20 illegal aliens inside. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $1,109,305 in wired cash transfers and seven properties exceeding $1 million in value."
Illegal aliens would be smuggled across the border from Mexico to Nogales Arizona for fees ranging from $1800-$2000 each.
Once across the border, hundreds of illegal aliens would utilize a network of safe houses and motor vehicle to transport the aliens first to Phoenix, Arizona, then to various interior states.
" part of the conspiracy supporting the alien smuggling operation provided the illegal aliens with fraudulent alien registration cards, Social Security cards and other identification documents, for an additional fee above the fee that they were paying to be smuggled into United States."