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May 1, 2009

BROWNSVILLE MAN AND WOMAN ARRESTED FOR SMUGGLING ALIENS FOR PROSTITUTION

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) - A Brownsville man and woman have been arrested on warrants that issued following the return of a six-count indictment by a Brownsville grand jury charging them with importing and harboring aliens for prostitution, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. The indictment was returned under sealed on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, and unsealed today following yesterday’s arrests of Juan Luis Coronado, aka Juan Hernandez, 37, and Lee Ann Zieger, aka Lee Ann Motilla, 40, both of Brownsville.

Special agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Brownsville arrested Coronado at a grocery store and Zieger’s at her residence. Both Coronado and Zeiger made their initial appearance before U. S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio today. Coronado was ordered temporarily held without bond pending a hearing on the government’s motion to detain him without bond pending trial of the case on Tuesday, May 5, at 1:30 p.m. Zieger was granted a $75,000 bond, upon depositing $5,000 into the registry of the court with numerous conditions, including GPS monitoring and no travel outside of Cameron County. 

The indictment is a result of a seven month investigation conducted by ICE and Customs and Border Protection agents. Coronado and Zeiger are charged with one count of conspiring to harbor illegal aliens in October 2008, one count of importing aliens for prostitution purposes, one count of attempting to import a minor alien for prostitution purposes and two counts of harboring aliens for prostitution purposes. The counts carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment without parole to be followed by up to a three-year-term of supervised release. Coronado is also charged with impersonating a federal officer, an offense which, upon conviction, carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Leonard is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

 

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