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BOSTON, Mass. - Three individuals were charged today in federal court with conspiracy to conceal illegal aliens from detection.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations in Boston, announced today that JOSE ELIAS ZAITER-POU, 61, and RICKY DARIO BAEZ-CRUZ, 29, both of the Dominican Republic, and LUZ MARTINEZ-LEBRON, 41, of Lynn, were charged in a criminal complaint with a conspiracy to conceal and shield illegal aliens from detection.

The complaint alleges that the defendants were part of a conspiracy to help illegal aliens evade detection through the mutilation or surgical removal of their fingerprints. It is alleged that MARTINEZ-LEBRON coordinates patients to receive the procedure which is performed by ZAITER-POU, a physician with a clinic in the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. ZAITER-POU comes to the United States to perform the procedure for $4500. It is alleged that MARTINEZ-LEBRON's ex-husband, BAEZ-CRUZ, had the procedure performed by ZAITER-POU previously.

The defendants had their initial appearance in court today, and a detention hearing has been set for Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

If convicted on these charges, ZAITER-POU, BAEZ-CRUZ, and MARTINEZ-LEBRON each faces up to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $ 250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry DeMaio of Ortiz's Major Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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