8 January – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Aco…

8 January – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Andrew Apollony, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Carol Kisthardt, Special Agent in Charge, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (“NCIS”), Southeast Field Office, announced today the return of an Indictment by a Miami federal grand jury charging defendants, Carlos Alvarez, and his wife, Elsa Alvarez, both of Miami, with being covert agents of the Republic of Cuba operating within the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 951(a) and 2. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of ten (10) years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

According to the Indictment, for nearly thirty years, Carlos Alvarez and Elsa Alvarez served as agents of the Republic of Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence and its predecessor agencies, gathering information within the United States on matters of interest to the Cuban government, informing on anti-Castro individuals and groups and other elements of the Cuban exile community in South Florida, and carrying out other operational directives. Both defendants are employed by Florida International University, in Miami, Florida.

According to the Indictment, the Directorate of Intelligence provided training and technology to agents, including Carlos Alvarez and Elsa Alvarez, that would allow the receipt of instructions and assignments from the Cuban government, the recording of information and data within the United States of interest to the Cuban government, and the transmission of that information and data back to the Cuban government for evaluation and further action.

The Indictment alleges that the Directorate of Intelligence carried out its activities with extreme concern for secrecy, including through the use of code names, meetings in various countries to avoid detection, concealed communications techniques, encryption and decryption of the contents of communications, and compartmentalization of agents and functions. The Indictment further alleges that as agents of the Directorate of Intelligence, defendants Carlos Alvarez and Elsa Alvarez were subject to these secretive procedures, and failed to provide notification of their presence within the United States to the Attorney General, as required by law.

United States Attorney Acosta stated, “Miami is a tremendously welcoming city where openness and diversity are valued. Although this aspect of South Florida culture is one of our greatest strengths, it also provides an opportunity for those who seek to infiltrate to do us harm. The Indictment unsealed today charges two university-level educators in Miami with acting as covert spies for the Castro government. The greatness of South Florida – and of America itself – is that we are all united in our commitment to freedom. The Castro government should know that the United States Attorney’s Office will continue to use all legal means to ensure that no foreign agent and that no opponent of freedom undermines America.”

Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew A. Apollony stated, “These defendants have betrayed their adopted country and their sworn duty to defend the United States against all enemies. Let the Cuban government and any other government with ill intentions toward the United States have no doubt of our resolve to protect our national security and the rights and safety of its citizens.”

Special Agent in Charge Carol Kisthardt stated, “The Alvarez investigation is the product of several years of work by the FBI Miami Division and the NCIS Southeast Field Office. NCIS will continue to confront the threat posed by Cuban Intelligence through proactive investigations around the world.”

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service for their work in this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian Frazier and David Buckner.

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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