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Border & Immigration

Head Of Customs Brokers Association Pleads Guilty To Import Scheme

The president of the San Diego Customs Brokers Association admitted Thursday to bringing in more than $100 million worth of Chinese-made clothing, Indian cigarettes and other foreign goods without paying proper import duties.

In his plea, the broker, Gerardo Chavez, admitted to causing more than $18 million in tax losses.

Chavez operated his customs business from the border near Tecate, Mexico. He imported the goods to the Port of Long Beach, where conspirators would falsify paperwork saying the goods were passing through to another country so they wouldn't be subject to import taxes.


Then the goods would be offloaded and shipped for sale throughout the U.S.

Chavez and co-defendant Carlos Medina are scheduled for sentencing in January.