Property Managers and Sisters Sentenced To Lengthy Prison Terms for Renting To Criminals
PHOENIX – Yesterday, Marycela Rivas, 36, of Avondale, Ariz., was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver to 33 months’ imprisonment. Her sister, Leticia Montano, a.k.a. Leticia Rivas, 42, of Phoenix, was previously sentenced to 63 months’ imprisonment. Both women had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens.
Between 2008 and 2013, Montano, a licensed realtor, managed 279 residences through several companies she owned and operated: Sol Realty, Metro North Realty, and AZ Home Property Management. The evidence presented at sentencing revealed that Montano and her employees, including her co-defendant and sister Rivas, would-in return for extremely high fees-assist certain renters in concealing their true identities from the property owners and law enforcement. These renters would, in turn, use the properties to facilitate criminal activity such as drug smuggling and alien smuggling.
The investigation in this case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the Glendale and Phoenix Police Departments. The prosecution was handled by Lisa E. Jennis, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-13-00388-PHX-ROS
RELEASE NUMBER: 2015-099_Montano et al
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