MIAMI - The 33-year-old boyfriend of Eunice Lopez was arrested here Saturday and charged with three counts of bigamy following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.
Rodneys Gonzalez, a Cuban national, was identified as being involved in marriage fraud. It is alleged that Gonzalez married four women for profit. The women paid Gonzalez as much as $15,000 to marry them so that they could obtain a lawful status in the country.
Gonzalez' girlfriend Lopez was arrested in December following an investigation that revealed that she too was involved in marriage fraud. Lopez was charged with nine counts of bigamy. Her case is still pending before the courts.
Gonzalez is facing up to five years in prison per count. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Luis Caso.
"Marriage fraud poses a serious threat to national security and public safety," said Anthony Mangione, ICE special agent-in-charge in Miami. "These schemes create a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States. We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that these criminals are brought to justice."
"Because we touch immigration cases first, USCIS has a unique responsibility to look out for people attempting to take advantage of our nation's hospitality," said Linda Swacina, USCIS District Director in Miami. "This case highlights USCIS' commitment to working with ICE and other law enforcement partners to protect both the integrity of our immigration system and our national security."
This case was part of ICE's Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF). The DBFTF was created in March 2006, to target, seize illicit proceeds of and dismantle the criminal organizations that threaten national security and public safety and address the vulnerabilities that currently exist in the immigration process. Through DBFTFs, ICE partners with other agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State and various state and local law enforcement agencies. These task forces focus their efforts on detecting, deterring and disrupting both benefit fraud and document fraud.