Three people have been charged with operating a smuggling ring that transported more than 200 illegal aliens (search) from the Middle East to the United States.

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday in Washington said that the smugglers used an Arab-language magazine in the Detroit area and a travel agency in Jordan to recruit people from Iraq and Jordan who wanted to enter the United States.

In exchange for thousands of dollars each, the alleged conspirators would provide those being smuggled with visas (search) allowing them to enter a South American country, the indictment said.

The charges indicate that the defendants used the alleged smuggling ring simply to make money. The case involves more than 200 illegal aliens brought into the United States since early 2001.