A property owner knowingly leased a property as a “load house” to transfer undocumented immigrants. The property owner erected fence siding to conceal the activities occurring on the property. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers raided the property and seized several undocumented immigrants. The government sought to impose criminal penalties on the property owner, claiming he conspired to bring undocumented immigrants to the U.S. for financial gain since the property owner knowingly used the property as a load house as part of an alien smuggling operation. The property owner claimed he only leased the house and did not actively participate in transferring undocumented immigrants. A federal appeals court held the property owner was liable for criminal penalties since he knowingly aided and abetted undocumented border crossings, evidenced by the fence he erected to conceal the property. [United States of America v. Alberto Noriega-Perez (February 1, 2012) _ F3d _]
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is Market Watch editor and project editor of the Real Estate Economics and Economic Trends in California Real Estate books.
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