SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Tijuana man who posed as an immigration attorney in San Ysidro and collected money for immigration-related services that were never supplied pleaded guilty Friday to felony grand theft and misdemeanor practicing law without a license.
Alberto Rodrigo Garcia, 50, changed his plea on the day his preliminary hearing was to take place.
The defendant - who has no prior record - will be sentenced to probation by Judge Laura Halgren at a March 4 hearing.
The judge ordered Garcia released as long as he lives in the United States, refrains from immigration consulting and acts as a tax preparer only if he is properly licensed, said Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gianera.
Garcia was arrested Nov. 1 at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations.
HSI agents began investigating Garcia in May after receiving a tip. The probe identified two victims who paid more than $5,000 for what they believed were legitimate immigration services by Garcia, Gianera said.
Investigators are going through three file cabinets to see if more people may have been victimized by Garcia, she said.
Emergency crews executed a water rescue early Friday morning, after a car landed upside down in a San Ysidro pond.
Cool and cloudy conditions start off Friday morning, but the sun will break through in the afternoon. Strong winds in San Diego County's deserts are also expected to ease up Friday morning.
A man who was drunk when he drove off in an ambulance from Scripps Mercy Hospital with two patients inside was sentenced Thursday to four years in state prison.
Police in San Diego's Tierrasanta neighborhood were on the lookout Thursday for a man suspected of following a 12-year-old girl even after she confronted him and told him to stop.
The fight continues over how to dispose of the nuclear waste from the now shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant.
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Dinelson Lamet overpowered the Mets in his major league debut, New York's Rafael Montero labored on short notice and the San Diego Padres won 4-3 on a rainy Thursday night.
Six parents have sued the San Diego school district, alleging that its anti-Islamophobia campaign favors Islam over other religions and grants special protections to Muslim students.