US Attorney Announces Smuggling Ring Organizer Gets Maximum, 10 Year Sentence – Florida Legal

LawFuel – Legal Announcements – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rear Admiral Robert S. Branham, Commander 7th Coast Guard District, U.S. Coast Guard, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announce today’s sentencing of defendant Ramon Barrabi-Puentes, who was convicted by a Key West jury on February 1, 2008 for conspiracy to smuggle aliens to the United States.

Today, U.S. Senior District Court Judge James Lawrence King sentenced Barrabi-Puentes to serve a ten-year term of imprisonment, which is the highest possible sentence authorized by law for his involvement in the conspiracy. Judge King also ordered the forfeiture of several boats owned or maintained by Barrabi-Puentes, as well as a $25,000 fine. Previously, Judge King had sentenced eleven other members of the conspiracy. Six of the twelve defendants received sentences of five years or more for their involvement in the conspiracy

The convictions are the direct result of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Miami-Dade Police Department. The investigation began in April 2006 into the Barrabi-Puentes alien smuggling organization. Each member agency brings a wealth of experience and particular expertise in areas necessary to successfully investigate and prosecute alien smuggling violations.

Mr. Acosta commends the outstanding investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration , U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Miami-Dade Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Karen Gilbert, Adam S. Fels, and Alison Lehr.

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 http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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