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Human Smuggling/Trafficking
10/10/2008

Thirty-nine Cuban nationals indicted on alien smuggling charges

MIAMI - Thirty-nine individuals have been indicted on alien smuggling charges and related offenses involving the attempted smuggling of more than 450 foreign nationals into the United States following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led investigation.

"ICE is committed to targeting smugglers who prey on human beings and whose only goals are to profit at the expense of others," 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 to ensure that they are arrested and prosecuted for their criminal acts."

From September 25 through October 10, 2008, federal grand juries in Key West and Miami returned eighteen separate indictments charging defendants German Rubi-Perez, Osmany Aguila-Madalay, Santos Mederos, Omar Nunes, Pedro Cabrera, Vladimir Sarduy-Lopez, William Lezcano, Geormani Hernandez Gari, Randy Serrano, Vladimir Hernandez-Ruiz, Javier Lopez, Alberto Alvarez-Cabrera, Renaldo Torres, Ernesto Cepero-Lopez, Juan Gutierrez, Felix Sarduy-Lopez, Yasser Alvarez, Elio Rivera, Jr., Rigoberto Prieto-Rodriguez, Lazaro Rodriguez-Espinosa, Yasvani Reyes-Santiesteban, Lazaro Hernandez-Mico, Luis Ramirez-Rodriguez, Jose Roberto Torres-Souto, Jorge Martinez-Garcia, Mario Rodriguez-Martinez, Felipe Cordero Bedael, Andres Valdes, Yuset Hernandez, Alexis Viscaino Cervantes, Elieten Mendoza-Zaldivar, Reynaldo Crespo-Marquez, Michel Madrigal Lopez, Brainer Gomez Cruz, Humberto Carrazana, Arley Ceballo Gonzalez, Ricardo Espildora, Didier Gonzalez Vasquez, and Antonio Fernandez Santana Neto with conspiracy to smuggle aliens, conspiracy to smuggle aliens resulting in the death of an individual, conspiracy to smuggle aliens for commercial gain, extortion, encouraging and inducing aliens to enter the United States, and fleeing from federal agents. If convicted, the defendants charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens resulting in the death of an individual face a statutory maximum of life imprisonment. Defendants charged with the other crimes listed above face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

Yesterday and today, ICE agents executed criminal arrest warrants on 19 of the 39 indicted individuals wanted on alien smuggling charges that were residing in Miami Dade County. Three of the 19 individuals arrested and indicted on these charges were already in federal and state custody on previous human smuggling charges and other violations.

The following are case summaries:

United States v. German Rubi-Perez and Osmany Aguila-Madalay, Case No.08-10060-CR- MOORE. German Rubi-Perez, 42 and Osmany Aguila-Madalay, 39, both of Miami, Fla. are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 39 Cuban nationals to come to the United States and fleeing from law enforcement officers in July 2007.

United States v. Santos Mederos and Omar Nunes, Case No. 08-10067-CR-MARTINEZ. Santos Mederos, 35, of Hialeah, Fla. and Omar Nunes, 36, of Miami are charged with conspiring to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 35 Cuban Nationals to come to the United States in February 2008.

United States v. Juan Gutierrez and Pedro Cabrera, Case No. 08-10070-CR-KING. Juan Gutierrez, 40, and Pedro Cabrera, 50, both of Hialeah are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 36 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in December 2005.

United States v. Vladimir Sarduy-Lopez and William Lezcano, Case No. 08-10074-CR-KING. Vladimir Sarduy-Lopez, 44 and William Lezcano, 43, both of Hialeah, FL, are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 24 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in April 2006.

United States v. Geormani Hernandez Gari, Randy Serrano, and Vladimir Hernandez-Ruiz, Case No. 08-10064-CR-KING. Geormani Hernandez Gari, 33, of Hialeah, Randy Serrano, 26, of Miami and Vladimir Hernandez-Ruiz, 32, of Hialeah are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing a total of 21 Cuban nationals to come to the United States on two separate incidents in April 2007 and September 2007.

United States v. Javier Lopez, Case No. 08-10073-CR-MOORE. Javier Lopez, 33, of Key Largo, Fla., who was previously convicted of conspiracy to smuggle aliens into the United States in March 2008 (Case No. 08-10007-CR-MOORE), is charged with failure to appear in court for sentencing in June 2008.

United States v. Mario Rodriguez-Martinez, Alberto Alvarez-Cabrera, and Renaldo Torres, Case No. 08-10062-CR-MARTINEZ. Mario Rodriguez-Martinez, 28, Alberto Alvarez-Cabrera, 39, and Renaldo Torres, 41, all of Miami, are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 19 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in May 2006.

United States v. Ernesto Cepero-Lopez, Juan Gutierrez, and Felix Sarduy-Lopez, Case No. 08-10068-CR-MOORE. Ernesto Cepero-Lopez, 49, of Miami, is charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing a total 50 Cuban nationals to come to the United States on two separate occasions in June 2005 and February 2008, respectively. Juan Gutierrez, 40, of Miami is charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 20 Cuban aliens to come to the United States on June 8, 2005. Felix Sarduy-Lopez, 36, of Miami is charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing Cuban nationals to come to the United States. Ernesto Cepero-Lopez is charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 50 Cuban nationals to come to the United States on two separate occasions in June 2005 and February 2008, respectively. Juan Gutierrez is charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 30 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in February 2008.

United States v. Yasser Alvarez and Elio Rivera, Jr., Case No. 08-10066-CR-KING. Yasser Alvarez, 38, of Hialeah, and Elio Rivera, Jr., 34, of Key West, are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 33 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in February 2008.

United States v. Rigoberto Prieto-Rodriguez and Lazaro Rodriguez-Espinosa, Case No. 08-10072-CR-MOORE. Rigoberto Prieto-Rodriguez, 34, and Lazaro Rodriguez-Espinosa, 41, both of Miami, are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 22 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in July 2007.

United States v. Yasvani Reyes-Santiesteban and Lazaro Hernandez-Mico, Case No. 08-10065-CR-MARTINEZ. Yasvani Reyes-Santiesteban and Lazaro Hernandez-Mico, both of Miami, are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 19 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in June 2008.

United States v. Luis Ramirez-Rodriguez and Jose Roberto Torres-Souto, Case No. 08-10065-CR-MARTINEZ. Luis Ramirez-Rodriguez, 26, of Hialeah and Jose Roberto Torres-Souto, 65, of Miami, are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 28 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in December 2007.

United States v. Jorge Martinez-Garcia and Mario Rodriguez-Martinez, Case No. 08-10069-CR-MOORE. Jorge Martinez-Garcia, 35, and Mario Rodriguez-Martinez, 28, both of Miami, are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 11 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in July 2008.

United States v. Felipe Cordero-Bedael and Andres Valdes, Case No. 08-10063-CR-KING. Felipe Cordero-Bedael, 24, of Miami and Andres Valdes, 36, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 21 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in February 2008.

United States v. Alexis Viscaino Cervantes, Elieten Mendoza-Zaldivar, Reynaldo Crespo Marquez, Michel Madrigal Lopez, Brainer Gomez Cruz, Humberto Carrazana, and Arley Ceballo Gonzalez, Case No. 08-03195-MJ-SNOW. Alexis Viscaino Cervantes, 34, of Miami, Elieten Mendoza-Zaldivar, 35, of Miami, Reynaldo Crespo Marquez, 29, of Hialeah, Michel Madrigal Lopez, 30, of Hialeah, Brainer Gomez Cruz, 26, of Carol City, Fla., Humberto Carrazana, 25, of Hialeah, and Arley Ceballo Gonzalez, 31, of Miami, are charge with conspiracy to smuggle aliens which resulted in the death of an individual and encouraging and inducing 32 Cuban nationals to come to the United States in September 2008.

United States v. Yuset Hernandez, Case No. 08-20885-CR-ALTONAGA. Yuset Hernandez of Miami is charged with encouraging and inducing 18 Cuban nationals to come to the United States and failing to present aliens to an immigration officer at a designated port of entry in March 2008.

United States v. Ricardo Espildora and Didier Gonzalez-Velasquez, Case No.08-10071-CR- MOORE. Ricardo Espildora, 38, of Key Largo and Didier Gonzalez-Velasquez, 21, of Miami, are charged with conspiracy to smuggle aliens and encouraging and inducing 22 Cuban nationals to come to the United States and fleeing from law enforcement officers in May 2008.

United States v. Antonio Fernandez Santana Neto, Case No.08-20819-CR-GOLD. Antonio Fernandez Santana Neto, of Miami is charged with extortion, conspiracy to smuggle aliens for commercial gain, and encouraging and inducing three Cuban nationals to come to the United States in August 2008.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida R. Alexander Acosta commended the cooperation and investigative efforts of 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.

These cases are being handled by AUSAs assigned to the Major Crimes Section.