SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Eight Southern California men were behind bars Thursday and facing federal charges for allegedly smuggling undocumented immigrants out of Mexico, through the San Diego area and on into Orange County, authorities reported.
The suspects were jailed on Wednesday and made their initial court appearances in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego.
Arrested in the case were Procopio Gudino, 31, of Gardena, and Santa Ana residents Javier Cruz-Renteria, 30, Lester Eckstein-Paz, 27, Jose Jimenez-Magana, 57, Francisco Alejandro Ramirez, 26, Gil Reyes-Cruz, 33, Rodrigo Roy Romero, 29, and Miguel Angel Torres Jr., 33.
According to prosecutors, the men conspired among themselves and with others to transport illegal aliens from an area near Jacumba to Orange County. Court documents allege that they served as drivers or recruited drivers to ferry undocumented migrants to their destinations for fees ranging from $4,000 to $5,000 per transported person.
The defendants were expected to appear in district court in San Diego over the next few weeks.
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