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BOSTON – A Dominican doctor and his assistant were charged today for their roles in altering the fingerprints of illegal aliens through a surgical process.
Danilo Montero Ramirez, 61, and Teresa Araujo Martinez, 40, were indicted for conspiring to harbor illegal aliens by altering their fingerprints through a surgical process, conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone, and possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone.
In November 2013, federal agents became aware that Montero Ramirez, a licensed medical doctor in the Dominican Republic, was coming to the United States to meet with previously deported aliens and perform surgery on their hands to alter their fingerprints. Convicted criminals alter their fingerprints to help conceal their true identities from law enforcement and to disassociate themselves from their prior criminal history.
During the week of Nov. 12, 2013, Montero Ramirez arrived in the United States from the Dominican Republic and arranged to perform surgery on individuals for a fee of $4,000. Montero Ramirez and Araujo Martinez made arrangements to perform the surgery on Nov. 16, 2013, but were arrested before the surgery began. It is alleged that had the surgery taken place, these individuals would have been given controlled substances by Araujo Martinez. At the time of the arrests, agents seized surgical cutting equipment, gauze, bandages, syringes, prescription medication and $4,000 from the defendants. Araujo Martinez, also a Dominican citizen, was found to be in possession of a large quantity of pain medication, including Oxycodone and other substances.
If convicted on the charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, the defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. If convicted on the charge of conspiracy to harbor aliens, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Kenneth G. Shine of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.