CALEXICO — Several people have been convicted in connection with a smuggling ring allegedly run out of the Don Juan Motel at 322 E. 4th St. here, but three others have pleaded not guilty and will face trial starting Nov. 6 in federal district court in San Diego.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Annie Gutierrez said Don Juan Motel owner Richard Graham, 68, Don Juan Motel manager Sylvia Tamayo, 37, and Thomas Castro, 37, of Los Angeles, the three defendants going to trial, face a minimum of five years in prison if found guilty.
Ten other people have pleaded guilty to charges that include felony counts of transporting illegal immigrants, harboring, conspiracy and bringing illegal immigrants into the U.S. Possible sentences for those 10 range from probation to 46 months in prison. Rosa Jimenez Cervantez, 46, of Brawley received a sentence of 46 months in prison, said Gutierrez.
The arrests came Nov. 20 after a two-year investigation by the U.S. Border Patrol Los Angeles district and the U.S. Attorney's Office.