14 July 2004 – LAWFUEL – On July 13, 2003, in Tacoma, YOUNG PIL CHOI, a prominent leader of an international alien smuggling criminal enterprise based in Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, pleaded guilty to various alien smuggling charges. Specifically, CHOI, age 29, of Los Angeles, California, pleaded guilty today to Conspiracy to Smuggle and Transport Illegal Aliens and Bringing Illegal Aliens to the United States for Financial Gain, as charged in Counts 1 and 2 of a First Superseding Indictment returned by a grand jury in the Western District of Washington. CHOI also entered pleas of guilty to three counts of Harboring an Illegal Alien, initially filed by Information in the Central District of California, and transferred to the Western District of Washington for the entering of pleas of guilty and for sentencing. CHOI will be sentenced on all counts before the Honorable Ronald B. Leighton, United States District Court Judge in Tacoma, on October 1, 2004, at 11:00 a.m.
This case is the result of an almost two-year joint investigation by law enforcement agents and prosecutors in the Western District of Washington and the Central District of California. Specifically, the case was investigated by agents, investigators, and officers from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Western District of Washington and the Central District of California.
According to court documents, YOUNG PIL CHOI was involved in an international alien smuggling enterprise, which facilitated the smuggling of persons through Canada, Korea, Mexico, and numerous cities throughout the United States. CHOI’s smuggling activities utilized a variety of smuggling and transportation methods across the Canadian and Mexico borders, into the United States.
CHOI faces a statutory minimum penalty for the offense of Bringing Illegal Aliens to the United States for Financial Gain of not less than five (5) years and up to fifteen (15) years’ imprisonment. CHOI is also subject to statutory penalties for Conspiracy to Smuggle and Transport Illegal Aliens of up to ten (10) years’ imprisonment, and for each count of Harboring an Illegal Alien of up to five (5) years’ imprisonment.