News and Press Releases

Evans, Georgia Couple Plead Guilty To Immigration Violation

February 16, 2012

SAVANNAH, GA: HUGO DIAZ aka HUGO DIAZ DE LA FUENTE, 45, of Evans, Georgia pleaded guilty Tuesday before United States District Court Judge J. Randal Hall to Count One of an indictment which charged HUGO DIAZ with harboring illegal aliens for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. Evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing showed that illegal aliens worked for HUGO DIAZ’s construction company, De La Fuente Contractors. Testimony showed that an illegal alien referred to in Count One of the indictment also lived in a house owned by a member of the DIAZ family.

HUGO DIAZ’s wife, BLANCA DIAZ aka BLANCA ESTELA MIRANDA VARGAS, 43, of Evans, Georgia pleaded guilty yesterday before United States District Court Judge J. Randal Hall to the unlawful entry into the United States by an alien and eluding immigration officials. After pleading guilty, BLANCA DIAZ was sentenced to the more than four months that she has served sine being incarcerated after her arrest in early November 2011. Judge Hall also ordered that BLANCA DIAZ be immediately transferred to the custody of the Department of Homeland Security for deportation.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office enforces the United States government’s immigration enforcement responsibilities. The convictions of Hugo and Blanca Diaz are examples of the heightened emphasis that the Department of Justice places on this extremely important national issue. Federal law enforcement agencies will continue to work with their local law enforcement partners to ensure that immigration violations continue to be an enforcement priority.”

HUGO DIAZ faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, forfeiture of assets, and a fine of up to $250,000. As part of their guilty pleas, HUGO and BLANCA DIAZ agreed to the forfeiture of millions of dollars of the proceeds of the immigration crimes, including real property, vehicles and money seized from several bank accounts. HUGO DIAZ remains in custody pending his sentencing; the date for HUGO DIAZ’s sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The DIAZ’s convictions arise out of a joint investigation by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations Division, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney David M. Stewart is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.



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