SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An 85-year-old Chula Vista woman who ran a human smuggling organization out of a Tijuana hotel, bringing undocumented immigrants across the Mexican border into the United States over a period of decades, was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison, as was her daughter.
Felicitas Gurrola De Mason pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to bring illegal aliens into the United States for financial gain.
Before her arrest, Gurrola De Mason spoke in a secretly recorded conversation of using counterfeit immigration documents to get immigrants into the country for "over 40 years," according to court records.
Two years ago, an informant alerted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the operation, which sometimes brought in scores of undocumented people per month, according to the government. The smuggling fee was $3,500 per illegal alien, prosecutors said.
Gurrola De Mason, who oversaw the operation, was charged in April with 10 others, including her 54-year-old daughter.
Hilda Patricia Moreno Gurrola also pleaded guilty and was given the same sentence as her mother by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw.