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Human Smuggling/Trafficking
05/06/2010

Heads of Canadian alien smuggling organization sentenced

BURLINGTON, Vt. - On May 3, Jose Manuel Galdamez-Serrano, 56, Norvin Gonzalez-Morales, 29, Ruben Damas-Hernandez, 31, and Emmanuel Antonio Galdamez, 27, of Montreal, Quebec, were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Burlington following their guilty pleas to alien smuggling offenses. The defendants were extradited to the United States from Canada to face the charges contained in the indictment.

Chief U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III sentenced Jose Manual Galdamez-Serrano to 60 months imprisonment and three years of probation following his guilty plea to one count of bringing illegal aliens in the United States for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. Judge Sessions ordered co-defendants Emmanuel Antonio Galdamez and Ruben Alonzo Damas-Hernandez, each to serve approximately 11 months imprisonment and two years probation following their guilty pleas to conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States.

According to court documents, the defendants, collectively known as the Galdamez Organization, conspired to smuggle aliens into the United States from Canada beginning sometime in 2004 until 2007. The Galdamez Organization was primarily consists of family members, with Jose Manuel Galdamez-Serrano as the head, his son Emmanuel Galdamez, and son-in-laws Ruben Damas-Hernandez and Norvin Gonzalez-Morales.

The Galdamez Organization offered aliens smuggling services to other alien smuggling groups and persons who trafficked in human beings and to individuals living in Canada who came from other countries, including but not limited to Central and South America, Pakistan and India, whose destination were the United States. More than 100 aliens were smuggled into the United States by the Galdamez Organization.

The aliens were housed at Galdamez Organization members' homes while awaiting transportation into the United States. They were later driven to areas near the border between Canada and the United States. Galdamez Organization would guide the aliens across the border by foot and at night or directed them where to cross. Other coconspirators involved were from Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

U.S. Attorney Tristram J. Coffin commended the efforts of special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Border Patrol.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara A. Masterson.