5 November 2004 LAWFUEL – Law, crime, legal, law firm, attorney news Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced today that a federal jury returned a verdict of guilty on all counts against the last remaining defendant in a eight (8) defendant alien smuggling prosecution, following a four (4) day trial before United States District Court Judge Shelby Highsmith in Miami, Florida.
Defendant, Amisaday Alvarez-Aguilar, was convicted on one count of (1) conspiring to smuggle aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain and twelve (12) substantive counts of smuggling aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain, all in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii). These thirteen (13) counts were charged in an eighty-two (82) count Superseding Indictment, which was returned on February 18, 2004, by a federal grand jury sitting in Key West, Florida. Alvarez-Aguilar was named in thirteen (13) of the eighty-two (82) counts. Seven (7) other named defendants pleaded guilty to alien smuggling charges prior to Alvarez-Aguilar’s trial.
On the conspiracy count, Alvarez-Aguilar faces a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years. On the twelve (12) substantive counts, Alvarez-Aguilar faces a statutory minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of five (5) years and statutory maximum term of imprisonment of fifteen (15) years.
The charges against Alvarez-Aguilar arose from an alien smuggling trip that took place in January 2002, when he and co-defendant, Jose Ramon Lopez, traveled to Cuba in a 26-foot go-fast vessel and returned with twelve (12) Cuban nationals. Lopez pleaded guilty before trial and testified against Alvarez-Aguilar. Two (2) of the passengers aboard the vessel also testified against Alvarez-Aguilar.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott E. Ray and Trial Attorney Anne Marie Farrar, Department of Justice, Domestic Security Section.
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