9 June – 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, announced today an Indictment returned in Key West, Florida, charging defendants, Elio Diaz-Hernandez and Edel Dominguez-Carvajal, with one (1) count of conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States for profit, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; thirty-one (31) substantive counts of alien smuggling for profit, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii); and thirty-one (31) substantive counts of bringing aliens to an undesignated port of entry, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(B)(iii).
If convicted on the alien smuggling conspiracy count, the defendants face a maximum statutory term of five (5) years in prison. If convicted on the substantive alien smuggling counts, the defendants face a maximum statutory term of fifteen (15) years in prison as to each count.
On May 25, 2005, law enforcement personnel from a Customs and Border Protection aircraft and a United States Coast Guard aircraft observed Elio Diaz-Hernandez and Edel Dominguez-Carvajal operating the Florida registered vessel approximately ten (10) nautical miles southwest of the Marquesas Keys, with approximately thirty-one (31) subjects on board the vessel. Law enforcement personnel then observed Elio Diaz-Hernandez ground the vessel on shore in the Marquesas Keys. Edel Domniguez-Carvajal and the thirty-one (31) Cuban nationals jumped off the boat and fled on foot. Subsequently, United States Coast Guard personnel from Key West, Florida, arrived at the Marquesas Keys and located Elio Diaz-Hernandez, Edel Dominguez-Carvajal, and thirty-one (31) Cuban nationals. The vessel and all of the subjects were transported to Key West, Florida and turned over to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents who determined that the thirty-one (31) Cuban nationals entered the United States without prior authorization.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and United States Coast Guard. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dana Washington.
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 .