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Human Smuggling/Trafficking
03/05/2009

21 Cuban nationals indicted on alien smuggling charges

Human smuggling prosecutions increase record numbers from previous years

MIAMI - Twenty-one individuals have been indicted on alien smuggling charges and related offenses involving the attempted smuggling of over 151 foreign nationals into the United States following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led investigation.

From Feb. 6 through Feb. 27, 2009, a federal grand jury in Key West returned 13 separate indictments charging defendants Orlando Magrinat, Carlos Regalado Amechazurra, Damian Sosa Garcia, Angel Cespedes Osorio, Pedro Milian Marquez, Jorge Gonzalez, Jose Gutierrez, Orelvis Jimenez Cordova, Deivys Morales, Garcia-Cordero, Trujillo-Dihigo, Yudiesky Machado Gonzalez, Luis Montero Sanchez, Fidel Aguila Verdura, Yanur Ceballos Laborde, Yoel Vasquez Perez, Ariel Toledo Labrada, Alberto Gonzalez Garcia, Alexis Leon Perez, Serguey Ortiz Medina, and Saidel Guzman with conspiracy to smuggle aliens, conspiracy to smuggle aliens for profit, extortion, encouraging and inducing aliens to enter the United States, fleeing from the U.S. Coast Guard, and failure to appear in court. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment.

"The human smuggling indictments serve as a clear message that those individuals who engage in such criminal activity will be subsequently indicted, arrested, and face prison," said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in Miami. "We will continue to aggressively investigate the individuals and criminal organizations involved in these deadly ventures."

U.S Attorney R. Alexander Acosta commended the continued cooperation and investigative efforts of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 7th Coast Guard District, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection - Field Operations, and Customs and Border Protection - Miami Air and Marine.

As a result of their efforts, the number of indictments for maritime smuggling in calendar year 2008 increased to 125 with 217 defendants, far exceeding the numbers in the years 2006 and 2007. In calendar year 2006, the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida indicted 35 maritime alien smuggling related cases with 61 defendants. In 2007, there were 60 indictments with 113 defendants named.

These cases are being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys assigned to the Major Crimes Section. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.