12 Members of Florida Alien Smuggling Ring Indicted

LawFuel – The Law News Network
R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rear Admiral David W. Kunkel, Commander 7th Coast Guard District (USCG), Anthony V. Mangione, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Jonathan Sall, Special Agent in Charge, Coast Guard Investigative Service, announce the Indictment of defendants Frank Barrios, of Miami, Jesus Rodriguez, of Miami, Ruben Herrera, of Miami, Dimeyis Sanchez, of Key West, Alexey Verges Gonzalez, of Key West, Pedro Alvarez Fernandez, of Miami, Osmin Vidal, of Miami, Reinier Hernandez, of Miami, Ysbel Jorro, of Miami, Eddie Gonzalez, of Miami, Livan de Armas, of Miami, and Julio Garcia, of Miami, on charges of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling, attempting to bring aliens to the United States and encouraging and inducing aliens to come to the United States. Eleven of the twelve defendants were arrested today. Defendant Pedro Alvarez Fernandez remains a fugitive.

This case originates from a February 20, 2006, pursuit and interdiction of an overloaded “go-fast” boat approximately 50 miles south of the Marquesas Keys. Following a slow speed pursuit, USCG personnel were able to board the go-fast boat. Once on board, USCG personnel discovered 22 Cuban nationals, including four (4) were juveniles.

Following the interdiction, federal agents began an investigation into the organizer of this event. During the investigation, numerous illegal activities aimed at smuggling aliens were documented by law enforcement personnel. These activities culminated in another “go-fast” vessel interdiction on December 02, 2006, whereby law enforcement personnel interdicted the “go-fast” as it headed south towards Cuba.

Mr. Acosta commended the efforts of the United States Cost Guard, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Hialeah Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine branch. This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Lehmann.

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