Two Individuals Pled Guilty to Smuggling Over $2.4 Million into the United States from the Dominican Republic
On November 14, 2016, two individuals pled guilty to smuggling over $2.4 million into the United States from the Dominican Republic.
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.
Mildrey De La Caradid Gonzalez, 61, and Milka Yarlin Alfaro, 40, 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). Alfaro and Gonzalez face a statutory maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. They are scheduled to be sentenced on February 2, 2017, before U.S. Chief District Judge K. Michael Moore.
According to court records, including a stipulated factual basis in support of Alfaro and Gonzalez’s guilty plea, on June 4, 2016, Alfaro, Gonzalez, and co-defendant Luis de Jesus Alonzo, Jr. (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 and presented the Declaration Form to Passport Control officers.
However, at the time Alonzo presented the Declaration Form, Alfaro and Gonzalez knew that the Defendants had in excess of ten thousand dollars hidden within their luggage. 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. Alfaro and Gonzalez both admitted to United States Customs and Border Patrol Officers that the luggage with the concealed currency was theirs, and that Alfaro and Gonzalez had packed the luggage together.
The Defendants misrepresented that they 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.
Alonzo pled guilty to bulk cash smuggling on September 15, 2016. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 30, 2016, before U.S. Chief District Judge K. Michael Moore.
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.