The owners of a San Diego car wash were arraigned in federal court yesterday for hiring and harboring known illegal aliens.
The owners Sun Jae Lee, 51, and Ju Hea Kim, 54 were charged with a criminal conspiracy complaint for harboring illegal aliens. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego, a conviction carries a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $250,000 for each defendant.
The two arrested defendants own and manage Betty’s Car Wash in the north San Diego community of Rancho Penasquitos. Authorities said the arrests took place after a routine search of the business.
Officers on the scene also detained alleged illegal aliens working at the car wash. Authorities said the illegal workers will be held 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 rehired two employees who were deported while working at the car wash and then returned to the country illegally.”
The complaint also contends that Kim instructed two employees to hide from view because Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials had arrived at the business.
The defendants will face U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo on Monday.
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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
It’s a typical Sunday afternoon in San Diego; the sun is shining, a breeze is blowing and the fire danger is high. Unfortunately, nearby residents recognize that the canyons are teeming with illegal migrant camps and any slip-up could ignite McGonigle canyon.
San Diego is no stranger to fires, in the fall of 2007; the entire region was literally on fire. And it’s only been four years since the devastating fires could be seen from space.
The Southern California wildfires that engulfed San Diego County burned more than 500,000 acres, destroyed 1,500 homes, killed nine people, injured 85 others and sent at least 60 firefighters to the hospital.
The new brittle conditions are certainly setting up a collision course for nearby home owners and illegal migrants who inhabit the canyon preserve.
McGonigle Canyon is located just east of Del Mar and is home to multi-million dollar homes that line the idyllic canyon.
What visitors may miss if they stick to the trails are numerous mini-migrant encampments that are designed to blend into the shrubbery and bushes.
The well-camouflaged camps are littered with fire dangers- open fire pits, propane stoves/grilles, matches and cigarettes. All of these camps are home to numerous empty alcohol bottles and cans.
Other threatening issues include; propane gas stoves, sanitary issues, drinking, environmental destruction, pollution of the streams and unsavory reading materials (pornographic magazines). Several of these camps contained hats from the 2010 Census Count, leaving open the question of either fraudulent identification or corrupt hiring.
Some local authorities blame the lack of low-cost housing for the illegals living in the canyon, the migrants admit they would not take advantage of low-cost housing because they would rather send their earnings to their families back home.
While the country is currently focusing on the Arizona wildfires that have consumed close to a million acres, the next tragedy may be in San Diego where wet winter conditions has set the stage for extra fuel and deadly fires.
© Copyright 2011Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
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