1 October – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Ac…

1 October – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John Paletti, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Miami, announced today the culmination of a two-year marriage fraud investigation regarding members of a South Florida marriage fraud ring responsible for recruiting foreign nationals from various countries to marry U.S. citizens for profit.

This long-term investigation, dubbed “Operation Honeymooners,” resulted in the indictments and arrests of thirty (30) individuals connected to the marriage fraud ring. To date, twenty-nine (29) of the thirty (30) indicted have been arrested.

The last four in the series of Indictments on Operation Honeymooners individually charged defendants David Collazo, Maria Magdalena Cruz, Rosemarie Alice Cruz, and Aida Iris Pena with marriage fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546(a). Three of the four were arrested on Friday, September 23, 2005. Only defendant Collazo remains a fugitive. The ring operated in various cities within the South Florida metropolitan area.

The illegal aliens involved in this marriage fraud scheme are nationals from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel, Germany, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. To date, ICE has identified approximately 112 beneficiaries linked to approximately 102 fraudulent marriages. Twenty-seven (27) of the 112 beneficiaries have completed the immigration process and have already obtained green cards. Those who received green cards will be placed in revocation proceedings and their status will revert to what it was prior to obtaining the benefit fraudulently.

“This operation is a reflection of ICE’s unrelenting determination to identify and dismantle these marriage fraud rings,” said John Paletti. “We are restoring integrity to our nation’s immigration system by pursuing these marriage fraud rings, and ensuring that they experience the full weight of the law.”

If convicted, the defendants face up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000. Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Daniel.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .

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