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Press Release

Former Immigration Officer Sentenced To Federal Prison For Concealing His Relationship With A Foreign National During A National Security Clearance Investigation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville, FL - United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced former immigration officer Paul Reynolds Friel, Jr. (48, Orange Park) to six months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for concealing a material fact during an interview with a government agent. In December 2011, during an interview, Friel failed to disclose the fact that he was living with Marisol Rodriguez Chavarria, a foreign national, and that he had contact with her during the preceding seven years. The interview was required as part of a background investigation for an expected job promotion within the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, where Friel was employed as an immigration officer.

According to court documents, Rodriguez entered the United States from Nicaragua on December 10, 2010, on an immigrant visa issued by the U.S. State Department. She was a citizen of Nicaragua and entered the United States as the spouse of Luis Aguilar. In or around March 2011, Rodriguez moved into an apartment with Friel and divorced Aguilar. Thereafter, Friel and Rodriguez lived together in a romantic relationship, were married in March 2012, and later had a child together. 

According to court records, Friel had known Rodriguez from previous trips to Nicaragua and paid for her airfare to fly to the United States from Nicaragua. Rodriguez previously pleaded guilty to possession of an immigrant visa issued by means of a false statement. Aguilar previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, and the Jacksonville office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dale R. Campion.


Updated April 22, 2016