Three women plead guilty to smuggling Armenian nationals into the U.S.

Three plead guilty to being part of Armenian smuggling ring

Three women from Glendale pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling Armenian nationals into the U.S. from Mexico.

Varduhi Avagyan, 42,  Meri Avetisyan, 40, and Maria Yanakopulus, 57, pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court to being part of an international smuggling organization that charged up to $18,000 per person.

The Armenian nationals went from Armenia to Moscow to Cancun, Mexico. Once in Cancun, they were brought to Tijuana, where they received immigration documents that had been issued to other people, prosecutors said.

The three each face a maximum three years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced May 11.



Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times