SAN DIEGO (CN) – Three body smugglers pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to fly people to Los Angeles on a private plane after bringing them in through a hole in the border fence in the California desert.
Philip Kubeck, Roselia Kubeck, and Earl Allen pleaded guilty to conspiring to bring in illegal aliens for financial gain and harbor and transport them, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
After smuggling people in, the defendants put them in a stash house in Calexico.
Philip Kubeck, 54, of Calexico, admitted he flew his customers from the remote border town to the Los Angeles area. Roselia Kubeck, 48, of Calexico, coordinated communications for Philip and Allen, 42, of Woodland.
The coyotes’ pollos, or chickens, as they are called in the trade, paid as much as $10,000 apiece, prosecutors said.
Before the Central American wars of the 1980s exacerbated the flow of immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border, it cost as little as $50 for a coyote to smuggle a person into the United States. As the decade of war and tortures continued, enterprising coyotes set up van services from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, to bring people in.
In the mid 1980’s, a full service van trip from Guatemala, which would dump customers in South Texas, cost about $1,500. The tremendous expansion of the Border Patrol, which has more than tripled in size since the 1980s, he driven up the price for a coyote.
The sophisticated tunnels under the border, some of which have rails, lighting and air-conditioning, are generally used for drugs, not people.
The defendants face up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 fines at their April 21 sentencing.
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