Two of the largest human smuggling rings were broken up in the northeastern United States.
The rings allegedly smuggled hundreds of illegal aliens into the U.S. from Korea, Pakistan, India and countries in central America beginning in 2004. The illegal aliens walked across the U.S.-Canada border and then were picked up and taken to cities along the East Coast.
U.S. Attorney Thomas Anderson said there was no indication either groups smuggled anyone in who would be considered a terrorist, but that the smugglers would move anyone who paid up to $10,000 (6,781 EUR) per person to get into the U.S.
"When an organization has established a pipeline to aliens from various countries, including countries with terrorists, into the United States, they don't care who's passing through that pipeline as long as they are paying," Anderson said.
"They don't care if its a family looking for a better life or a terrorist looking to harm America."
The two indictments charge 11 people. Eight of them have been arrested, including one in Korea; three others were still being sought - one in the U.S., two in Canada.
According to the indictments, a Toronto-based smuggling run was run by Chol Min Jang, 49, and Dal San Jang, 44, who were arrested recently in Ontario by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The second group was led by Jose Manuel Galdamez-Serrano, 54, a native of El Salvador operating in the Montreal area. Galdamez-Serrano was also arrested recently by the RCMP.
Anderson said efforts were under way to extradite the suspects to the U.S. If convicted, they could get up to 15 years in prison on each smuggling charge.