On September 15, 2016, a former United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deportation Officer pled guilty to bulk cash smuggling.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, David P. D’Amato, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility (ICE-OPR), Jay Donly, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General (DHS-OIG), Brian Swain, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, Diane J. Sabatino, Director, Field Operation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Miami Field Office, and Shimon R. Richmond, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Region, made the announcement.
Luis De Jesus Alonzo, Jr., 44, of Miami, Florida, pled guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, in Miami, Florida to charges of bulk cash smuggling, in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5332(a). Alonzo faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. Alonzo was employed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a Deportation Officer until he resigned effective Friday, September 9, 2016, prior to entering his plea of guilty.
According to court records, including a stipulated factual basis in support of Alonzo’s guilty plea, on May 30, 2016, Alonzo travelled from the United States to the Dominican Republic to assist and accompany his co-defendants Mildrey De La Caradid Gonzalez and Milka Yarlin Alfaro when they travelled back to the United States.
On June 4, 2016, Alonzo, Gonzalez, and Alfaro (collectively, the “Defendants”), arrived at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida from the Dominican Republic. The Defendants presented at least seven pieces of luggage for entry into the United States. Alonzo filled out the required United States Customs and Border Protection Form 6059B (the “Declaration Form”) as the “responsible family member” on behalf of the Defendants. Alonzo declared that he and his co-defendants were not carrying in excess of ten thousand dollars in United States currency. Alonzo presented the Declaration Form to Passport Control officers.
However, at the time Alonzo presented the Declaration Form he knew that the Defendants had in excess of ten thousand dollars hidden within their luggage. Alonzo misrepresented that the Defendants were not carrying in excess of ten thousand dollars in United States currency in order to evade a currency reporting requirement under Title 31, United States Code, Section 5316. During a subsequent search of the Defendants’ luggage, approximately $2,463,759.00 in United States currency was discovered concealed within the luggage in diapers, baby wipes, makeup pouches, and purses, among other things.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, ICE-OPR, DHS-OIG, USSS, CBP and HHS-OIG. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane.