News and Press Releases

Miami Man Sentenced on Alien Smuggling Conspiracy

Eight Others Previously Sentenced for their Role in Smuggling Ring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2013

 Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), announced yesterday’s sentencing of Leonardo F. Cabrera, 51, of Miami, for his role in a conspiracy to smuggle aliens from Cuba to the United States through the Bahamas for profit.

  U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard sentenced Cabrera to 15 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. Cabrera, who pled guilty on February 25, 2013, was the last of nine defendants charged, convicted and sentenced for their respective roles in a conspiracy to smuggle more than 100 aliens from Cuba into the United States between October 2009 and January 2011.

 According to court records, the following eight defendants were previously convicted and sentenced for their roles in this conspiracy:

 Gerardo Columbie, 45, of Apopka, Florida, was sentenced to 54 months in prison for his role as an organizer responsible for four alien smuggling trips; Ober Merino Cruz, 41, of Apopka, Florida, was sentenced to 38 months in prison; Jorge Alberto Parrado Martinez, aka “El Chifla,” 52, of Miami, was sentenced to 42 months in prison; Francisco Maunteca Lopez, 49, of Miami, was sentenced to 54 months in prison; Lazaro De Leon Rojas, 47, of Miami, was sentenced to 27 months in prison; Yoan Francisco Parra Mosquera, 38, of Miami, was sentenced to 27 months in prison; Victoriano Del Risco, 43, of Miami, was sentenced to 24 months in prison; and Cristian Jesus Cardet Mombiela, 29, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced to seven months in prison and seven months home detention for his minor role in the conspiracy. Two defendants, Calvin Sweeting, of Andros, Bahamas, and Jose Luis Perez Garcia, of Miami, remain fugitives.

 This case was the result of a three-year investigation by HSI into a smuggling operation that included four separate alien smuggling trips undertaken or planned by the defendants on October 31, 2009, March and April of 2010, June 27, 2010, and between late November 2010 and January 16, 2011. According to court records and statements made in court, the defendants were responsible for smuggling 73 aliens from Cuba into South Florida for an average fee of $10,000 per person.

 Mr. Ferrer commended HSI for its extensive work on this case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa Castrolugo.

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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 http://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 http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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