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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