Ranch owner guilty of smuggling undocumented immigrants

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SAN DIEGO — A Potrero ranch owner was convicted Wednesday of using her property to sneak undocumented immigrants into the United States for payments of thousands of dollars each.

The panel found Kala D. Rains, 47, guilty of seven criminal counts of conspiracy and human smuggling following a trial in San Diego federal court. Additionally, the jurors ruled that her ranch should be forfeited to the government.

Prosecutors presented evidence of videotaped undercover meetings, audio recordings and telephonic evidence to build their case against Rains. The jury also heard from immigrants who testified that they had to pay between $6,500 and $7,500 to Rains and her fellow conspirators as smuggling fees.

Co-defendants Caroline Haro Espindola, Jose Maria Partida-Esquivel and Alexander Flores previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme.

Rains faces up to 10 years in prison per count and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27.


  • Wes

    I don’t mind if police confiscated his property but it has to be proven in a court of law, and he is innocent until proven guilty. It does sound like he is guilty though, so it sucks to be him. If the US government took property and ran businesses out of town if they hired illegals we would not need a 3 tear fence between US and Mexico.

    • Vet

      This report is so inflated and overblown. SHE GAVE THE 2 IMMIGRANTS A RIDE FROM HER NEIGHBORS HOUSE TO HER HOUSE. The 2 immigrants were offered citizenship in the U.S. if they participated in the sting operation and testified against Rains . Yes she did have them ON HER PROPERTY. SHE WAS PAID $150.00 FOR EACH =$300.00 FOR THE 2 DAYS. Yes she told the undercover officer- (the transporter) THE CHECK POINT WAS CLOSED SO HE COULD SMUGGLE THEM THROUGH SAFELY.That was her part of the “conspiracy” Rains was a little fish compared to her so called co defendants.Her downfall; she had a large amount of property that was too tempting to pass up. All this hype is an attempt to justify taking her property The sad part, her young daughter’s name is also on that property as the beneficiary if she decided to sell it. A seizure is not a sale, so she is now out of her inheritance and homeless. Rains should be held accountable and be given an appropriate penalty, but this is overkill

  • bob pearl

    10 years & a fine, big deal they should be kicked out of our country and maybe sent to Siberia or anywhere but the USA as you are criminal to our country, its treason, but then again maybe she will get jail justice since our system doesn’t, one can only hope.

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