SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The operators of a Rancho Penasquitos car wash were arraigned in federal court Thursday on charges of knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants.
Ju Hea Kim, 54, and Sun Jae Lee, 51, are charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens, an offense that carries a possible sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 for each defendant, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego.
Kim and Lee, the owner and manager, of Betty's Car Wash in the 9800 block of Carmel Mountain Road, were arrested Wednesday during a search of the business. Alleged undocumented immigrants found working there were detained as material witnesses in the case.
According to prosecutors, the majority of those employed by the defendants lacked legal documentation that would allow them to work in the United States. Additionally, Kim and Lee allegedly hired back two employees who were deported while working at the car wash and then returned to the country illegally.
In April, the complaint alleges, Kim instructed two employees to hide because immigration officials had shown up at the business.
The defendants are scheduled to be in court again on Monday, before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo.
The San Diego Police Department has launched an internal investigation into a program intended to reward officers for making drug arrests.
Police were involved a pursuit late Saturday that ended with a deadly officer-involved shooting in Escondido.
Two people died early Sunday morning after a high-speed chase ended in a head-on crash in North County.
A man was shot and killed by police at an officer- involved shooting in Escondido, a sheriff's lieutenant said Sunday.
An approaching winter storm is poised to open an "atmospheric river" of subtropical rain clouds on Southern California this week, but the San Diego area is expected to see just a fraction of that moisture, forecasters said Sunday.
A man threw rocks at vehicles on Interstate 5 near Imperial Beach Sunday, and threatened police with a pickaxe as he ran into a riverbed.
San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins will make history Wednesday when she becomes the first woman and first lesbian to hold the California Senate's top job.
A 16-year-old boy was allegedly drunk when he crashed his car into a stopped vehicle, pinning a motorist between two bumpers, police said Sunday.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
A large plume of smoke filled the sky in Miramar on Saturday morning after a concrete supply building went up in flames.