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Son of mariachi singer Pepe Aguilar accused of trying to smuggle Chinese citizens in car’s trunk

Pepe Aguilar is a Grammy-winning Mexican American mariachi artist. His son has been accused of trying to smuggle four Chinese citizens across the U.S.-Mexico border in his car's trunk.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The son of popular Mexican American singer Pepe Aguilar has been charged with trying to smuggle Chinese citizens across the San Ysidro border crossing.

Jose Emiliano Aguilar, 24, was arrested March 14 after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found four unauthorized immigrants in his car’s trunk, according to a federal complaint filed in San Diego.

Aguilar, a U.S. citizen, was released on $15,000 bond Friday.

According to the complaint, he and an unidentified female passenger drove up to the San Ysidro Port of Entry about 5:45 p.m. March 14. Aguilar told a customs officer they were headed to San Diego.

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During a routine inspection, an officer’s dog reacted to the trunk of Aguilar’s 2014 Chrysler 200. The four people inside later admitted to being in the U.S. illegally. They said they agreed to pay $3,000 to $60,000 to be smuggled into the country, according to the complaint.

Two of them said they planned to travel to Los Angeles, and the two others said they planned to head to New York City.

Pepe Aguilar has won four Grammy awards and four Latin Grammy awards. In 2012, the mariachi singer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

david.hernandez@sduniontribune.com

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Hernandez writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune

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