4 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida;
Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and
Rear Admiral D. Brian Peterman, Commander – 7th Coast Guard District, United States
Coast Guard (USCG), announced today an Indictment returned on February 16, 2005, by a federal grand jury sitting in Key West, Florida, charging defendants, Yulier
Duque, Severo Tapanes, and Rafael Lopez, with one (1) count of conspiracy to
smuggle illegal aliens into the United States, in violation of Title 8, United
States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(A), and Title 18, United States Code, Section 371,
and thirty-five (35) substantive counts of alien smuggling, in violation of Title
8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(A). Yesterday, March 3, 2005, Duque made
an initial appearance in federal court in Miami, Florida, following the defendant’s
arrest. The arrests of Tapanes and Lopez remain pending.
If convicted on the alien smuggling conspiracy count, the defendants face a maximum
statutory term of one (1) year in prison. If convicted on the substantive alien
smuggling counts, the defendants face a maximum statutory term of one (1) year in
prison as to each count.
On November 19, 2004, USCG and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine units
encountered a 32′ go-fast vessel approximately thirty-seven (37) nautical miles
south of Big Pine Key, Florida, heading northbound towards the U.S. coast.
Ultimately, the vessel was stopped approximately 8.8 miles south of Big Pine Key.
A USCG boarding crew determined that thirty-eight (38) people were onboard the
vessel. Of the thirty-eight, three (3) were determined to be Cuban nationals who
had previously landed in the United States, and thirty-five (35) were determined to
be Cuban migrants attempting to reach the United States.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the United States Coast Guard. The
case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States 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