Alien Smuggling Ring Chief Convicted

A resident alien from Taiwan was convicted in Los Angeles federal court Tuesday of heading a smuggling ring that charged as much as $8,000 to bring illegal aliens into this country from Asia via Mexico and Central America.

Gene Chien-Jen Lee, 54, of Alhambra was found guilty on four counts involving conspiracy and of bringing, transporting and harboring illegal aliens.

He was one of five people arrested by federal authorities in May, after the operator of a burglar-alarm business in the San Fernando Valley was approached by the group about flying aliens up from Mexico and El Salvador in private planes. The businessman contacted authorities.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service said hundreds of Chinese were smuggled into the country by the ring.

Three others--James Chen-Chun Lee and his wife, Katherine, both of Alhambra, and Li-Sheng Fu of El Monte--have pleaded guilty. Gang-Wei Ferng, 40, of El Monte is scheduled to go on trial next week.


Sentencing for Chien-Jen Lee was set for Nov. 1 before U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer.