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3 charged in San Diego with smuggling Middle Eastern immigrants.

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  • 3 charged in San Diego with smuggling Middle Eastern immigrants.

    A criminal indictment unsealed Friday accuses three
    Mexican citizens of smuggling Middle Eastern immigrants into the United
    States, including a Lebanese man who died during the journey.

    Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, 28, Patricia Serrano Valdez, 32, and Jose
    Alvarez Duenas, 27, are charged in a 16-count indictment delivered to
    federal prosecutors by a San Diego grand jury.

    The three allegedly stood to financially profit by smuggling six illegal
    immigrants into the United States through Mexico over a period of time
    beginning in 2001.

    Boughader, of Tijuana, Mexico, is charged with smuggling that resulted in
    the death of Youseff Balaghi of Lebanon on June 5.

    The indictment and a statement from U.S. Attorney Carol Lam's office did
    not provide details on Balaghi's death other than to say he had attempted
    to enter the country through an unauthorized crossing point.

    There was no further information on the other immigrants' home countries or
    an explanation of how they entered the United States. Two of them were
    found to have been staying at a home in National City, the indictment said.

    Calls to U.S. attorneys Michael Skerlos and Roopal Shah were not
    immediately returned Friday.

    Serrano, who lives in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, and Boughader
    were arrested on Thursday. Alvarez, of Tijuana, had been in custody since
    July on an immigration violation charge.

    The three were arraigned before a U.S. magistrate Friday and are to appear
    in U.S. District Court on Monday.

  • #2
    A criminal indictment unsealed Friday accuses three
    Mexican citizens of smuggling Middle Eastern immigrants into the United
    States, including a Lebanese man who died during the journey.

    Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, 28, Patricia Serrano Valdez, 32, and Jose
    Alvarez Duenas, 27, are charged in a 16-count indictment delivered to
    federal prosecutors by a San Diego grand jury.

    The three allegedly stood to financially profit by smuggling six illegal
    immigrants into the United States through Mexico over a period of time
    beginning in 2001.

    Boughader, of Tijuana, Mexico, is charged with smuggling that resulted in
    the death of Youseff Balaghi of Lebanon on June 5.

    The indictment and a statement from U.S. Attorney Carol Lam's office did
    not provide details on Balaghi's death other than to say he had attempted
    to enter the country through an unauthorized crossing point.

    There was no further information on the other immigrants' home countries or
    an explanation of how they entered the United States. Two of them were
    found to have been staying at a home in National City, the indictment said.

    Calls to U.S. attorneys Michael Skerlos and Roopal Shah were not
    immediately returned Friday.

    Serrano, who lives in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, and Boughader
    were arrested on Thursday. Alvarez, of Tijuana, had been in custody since
    July on an immigration violation charge.

    The three were arraigned before a U.S. magistrate Friday and are to appear
    in U.S. District Court on Monday.

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