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Fallbrook couple sentenced for smuggling immigrants

A Fallbrook couple was sentenced on November 2 to federal prison for being part of a smuggling ring that had allegedly brought more than 100 illegal immigrants from Mexico into the United States, then holding them in guesthouse at their Fallbrook home.

Maria Del Carmen Alvarez and Indalecio Alvarez-Montoya were sentenced to 37 months and 21 months in prison, respectively, after they pleaded guilty to conspiring to bring illegal aliens into the country for financial gain and filing a false income tax return.

The duo was caught with their adult children, Juan Alvarez and Patricia Marquez, and charged with conspiracy to bring in illegal aliens for financial gain, 15 counts of bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain, 15 counts of transporting illegal immigrants, 14 counts of harboring illegal immigrants, conspiracy to launder money and three counts of filing false tax returns in 2008.

Federal prosecutors alleged that the group had illegal immigrants either walk or be driven across the United States/Mexico border in San Ysidro by providing them with false or altered documents, then holding the immigrants in a guesthouse on their Fallbrook property on Rancho Camino Road.

They would then keep the illegal immigrants at the property until a sponsor or family member wired money for having the individual brought across the border.

The indictment stated that, out of the four individuals who had been orchestrating the crossings since 1996, Maria Alvarez was the most intimately involved with the smuggling operation, would personally meet the immigrants in Tijuana to arrange their crossing and pick them up in San Diego to transport them to Fallbrook.

From 2000 to 2005, the family members accumulated more than $250,000 in wire transfers. Specifically, Alvarez accumulated $50,000; her husband, Indalecio, $50,000; and children more than $150,000.

Because of the methods the family used to smuggle immigrants into the United States, and the unique way they demanded payment, Mack believes the family developed their techniques over many years of smuggling.

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff also imposed a Criminal Forfeiture order in the amount of $606,770, which represents the total amount of alien smuggling proceeds obtained by the defendants from 2000 through 2005, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said the defendants also jointly filed a false tax return that understated their total income and tax due for the year 2003.

 

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