TUCSON, Ariz. – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – A federal grand jury here returned a two-count indictment late yesterday against Daniel M. Strauss, 23, of New York, and Shanti Amalia Sellz, 23, of Colorado and New Mexico. The indictment alleges that Strauss and Sellz violated Title 8, U.S. Code, Sections 1324(a)(1)(A)(v)(I) and 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii), Conspiracy to Transport an Illegal Alien and Title 8, U.S. Code, Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii), Transporting an Illegal Alien.
Strauss and Sellz were arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents on July 9, 2005, after being stopped near Arivaca, Ariz. According to the criminal complaint, at the time of their arrest there were three illegal aliens in their vehicle being transported from an aid camp near Arivaca, Ariz. to Tucson.
Two of the illegal aliens were released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation to Mexico; the third illegal alien is being held in federal custody as a material witness. Strauss and Sellz were released to a third party custodian during a hearing in federal court on July 13, 2005. They are both scheduled for an arraignment on August 11, 2005 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles R. Pyle.
A conviction on Conspiracy to Transport an Illegal Alien carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. A conviction on Transporting an Illegal Alien carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, the assigned federal judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by U.S. Border Patrol. The
prosecution is being handled by Irene Feldman, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.