WASHINGTON - Rodolfo Wanseele Paciello, 40, one of five foreign nationals accused of acting and conspiring to act as an agent of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ("Venezuela") within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General of the United States, pleaded guilty earlier today to acting as an unregistered Venezuelan agent before U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lenard in Miami.
The plea was announced by R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Patrick Rowan, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 14, 2008, at 2:00 PM before Judge Lenard.
Wanseele Paciello is the third defendant to plead guilty in this case. On Jan. 25, 2008, Moises Maionica, 36, pleaded guilty to acting and conspiring to act as an illegal agent of the Venezuelan government. Defendant Carlos Kaufmann, 36, pled on March 3, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12, 2008, at 2 PM. The case against co-defendants Franklin Duran, 40, and Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, 37, who remains a fugitive, is still pending. Trial is currently scheduled for Sept. 2, 2008.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its work in this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas J. Mulvihill and Senior Trial Attorney Clifford I. Rones, of the Counterespionage Section at the Justice Department's National Security Division.
A copy of this press release may be found on the Justice Departmentís website at www.usdoj.gov, or on the website of the U.S. 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.