LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – The 24-year-old son of Mexican superstar Pepe Aguilar was arrested earlier this month on allegations he attempted to smuggle four Chinese men into the United States by hiding them in the trunk of his car.
Jose Emiliano Aguilar, a U.S. citizen, faces federal charges of bringing in unlawful aliens without presentation according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
According to court documents, on the evening of March 14, Aguilar attempted to cross into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego with a female passenger.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers searched his 2014 Chrysler 200 with a K-9 unit and found four Chinese men hidden in the trunk, the complaint reads. All four were Chinese citizens with no legal documents to enter the U.S.
During subsequent interviews, the men told officers they had agreed to pay Aguilar between $3,000 and $60,000 each for being successfully smuggled into the U.S. Two of them said they were going to Los Angeles and other two admitted they were headed to New York City, the complaint states.
Aguilar was booked and released on $15,000 bond while awaiting his arraignment. Under the terms of his release, he was ordered to live with his mother, is not allowed to leave Southern California and must undergo counseling.
In a statement Friday, Aguilar’s attorney Jeremy Warren wrote:
“We understand the interest in our client Jose Aguilar because of his father’s musical career. However, this case has nothing to do with Pepe Aguilar. Jose Aguilar is young man who will address this matter in court, and not in the press.
“We understand that Pepe Aguilar will provide a statement shortly. In the meantime, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy.”
The four Chinese men were placed under an immigration hold while awaiting deportation proceedings, CBP reports. Aguilar’s car was seized as part of the investigation.