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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Firefighter arrested for Transporting and Harboring Non-Citizens for financial gain

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On May 18, 2022, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Pedro Rafael Rodríguez-Garnier, 54, of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, with transporting and harboring illegal aliens.

According to the investigation, on August 1, 2019, during the early morning hours, Pedro Rafael Rodríguez-Garnier encountered multiple immigrants that had arrived in Puerto Rico illegally.  He transported them from Joyuda to Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo, and once there, defendant harbored them and requested money in exchange for providing them food and shelter. 

“Today’s arrest demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to protecting and seeking justice for vulnerable individuals,” said W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

“HSI San Juan is focused on identifying and assisting victims of crimes, and providing them with services regardless of citizenship or status,” said HSI San Juan Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo. “We are committed to bringing to justice those who try to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of non-citizens.”

Special Assistant United States Attorney Nadia Pineda-Perez is in charge of the prosecution of this case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Topic(s): 
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated May 19, 2022