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Two guilty of drug and human trafficking of undocumented immigrants in September 2021 Santa Barbara incident

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif.– The Department of Justice has ruled the two men found with 45 pounds of methamphetamine onboard a smuggling boat with 11 undocumented Mexican immigrants on a Santa Barbara beach guilty of drug and human trafficking charges.

26-year-old Jorge Muńoz-Muńoz and 43-year-old Roel Aranzubia-Àlvarez were attempting to transport the 11 immigrants through illegal measures into the U.S. in September of 2021 charging $15,000 per person for passage. In its journey to the U.S., the boat experienced engine trouble forcing those aboard to land at Arroyo Quemada Beach throwing drugs off board as they made landfall.

A law enforcement investigation determined at the direction of Muńoz-Muńoz passengers discarded two black bags of 40 pre-sealed plastic baggies of methamphetamine that were later obtained by investigators. Àlvarez was identified as the captain of the boat.

Both have been charged on one count of conspiracy to bring undocumented immigrants into the country illegally, 11 counts of human trafficking, 11 counts of human trafficking for financial gain, and one count of attempting to gain illegal entry for a convicted felon.

Àlvarez was not found guilty on drug-related charges, while Muńoz-Muńoz was found guilty on additional charges of possession with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine with the intention of distribution, attempt to import methamphetamine, and importation of methamphetamine.

Muńoz-Muńoz faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Àlvarez faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in a U.S. federal prison. The sentencing hearing is set for Apr. 10, 2023.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County
san luis obispo county
Santa Barbara

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Drew Ascione

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