News/US: HEADS OF MEXICAN BABY SMUGGLING GANGS SENTENCED TO ...

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Subject: News/US: HEADS OF MEXICAN BABY SMUGGLING GANGS SENTENCED TO ...
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 09:46:12 EDT


          HEADS OF MEXICAN BABY SMUGGLING GANGS SENTENCED TO ...

OTC 4-18-00 5:39 AM

New York, Apr 17, 2000 (EFE via COMTEX) -- A New York judge on Monday
sentenced the three leaders of a band that smuggled Mexican babies to the
United States to between 15 and 30 months in prison.
    Judge Jacob Mishler, of the district of Uniondale on Long Island, New
York, sentenced the presumed leader of the group, Mario Reyes, to 30 months
in prison and the other two defendants, Arlene Lieberman and Arlene
Reingold, to 15 months in prison.
    Mishler ordered Reyes to pay a fine of 125,000 dollars and levied fines
of 43,500 dollars on each of his accomplices. The money will go to the
adoptive parents who were victims of the fraud.
    The sentence was reduced because the accused decided to collaborate with
federal authorities and to explain the details of the smuggling operation.
    Last year, they all declared themselves to be guilty of conspiring to
move and hide Mexican babies, illegally brought them to the United States
and arranged for their adoption by American families that were unaware of
the operation.
    The three were arrested in May 1999, following accusations that they
were responsible for the illegal smuggling into the United States of 17
Mexican babies, who were then adopted by American couples in exchange for
considerable amounts of money.
    The investigation, conducted by U.S. authorities in several states with
the cooperation of Mexican authorities, confirmed that the group was
responsible for the smuggling of a total of 23 babies.
    According to the investigation, Lieberman and Reingold started the baby
smuggling operation in this country with the complicity of Reyes, an
attorney who would find the infants in Mexico and bring them to the United
States.
    U.S. authorities said that Reyes would buy the children in Mexico, many
of them newborns. He would then organize their passage over the border from
the Mexican city of Agua Prieta to the American city of Douglas, Arizona,
using women that would pose as their mothers.
    Reyes, whose extradition has been requested by Mexican authorities went
as far as to pay Mexican women to pretend to be the children's mothers and
legally register them as their own.
    The American parents who adopted the babies paid up to 20,000 dollars
for each and were given identity documents by the smugglers. Most of the
documents were false, and they included visa permits from the U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service. EFE
. Agencia EFE S.A.
     http://www.efe.es -0-


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