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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Peruvian Woman Charged with Smuggling Counterfeit Currency through Logan Airport

BOSTON – A Peruvian woman was charged in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with smuggling over $1.2 million in counterfeit $100 bills through Boston’s Logan Airport.

Alejandrina Elsa Quispe Ramirez, 47, was arrested yesterday and charged in a criminal complaint with one count of delivering counterfeit currency and one count of importing counterfeit currency into the U.S.  Quispe Ramirez was detained following an initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler.

It is alleged that authorities learned that Quispe Ramirez would be traveling to the U.S. on July 11, 2016, carrying a large amount of counterfeit U.S. currency concealed in her luggage.  According to their U.S. visa applications, the purpose of the visit was allegedly to go to Shriners Hospital for Children.  Federal agents confirmed that Quispe Ramirez’s younger son had previously been a patient of the hospital; however, he was not scheduled to return to the hospital until at least November 2016.

As alleged in the complaint, on July 11, 2016, Quispe Ramirez landed at Boston’s Logan Airport and federal agents confirmed that U.S. currency was concealed inside the luggage.  The agents followed Quispe Ramirez as she took a taxi from Logan Airport to Somerville, and then transferred to a Mazda SUV with Pennsylvania license plates driven by another man.  The agents allegedly stopped the vehicle after the driver made an illegal U turn in the middle of the street.  During a search, agents found approximately 140 spindles each with $85,000 in counterfeit $100 notes.  In total, the three bags contained approximately $1,212,200 in counterfeit currency.

Each charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.   

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Stephen A. Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Division; Nora Ehrlich, Acting Director of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Board Protection; and David W. Hall, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Boston Field Office, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori J. Holik, Chief of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the criminal complaint are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

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Updated July 13, 2016