MIAMI, Jan 16, CMC – A Bahamian national faces up to 10 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to smuggling undocumented migrants to the United States for private financial gain.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department?s Criminal Division said 66-year-old Irene Mildred Janette Burrows, and 37 year-old Jessie Katherine Gonzales Urquizo, of Peru pleaded guilty to the charge.
Breuer said Urquizo pleaded guilty to three counts and Burrows pleaded guilty to two counts, before US District Court Judge Kenneth A. Marra in the Southern District of Florida, of bringing and attempting to bring aliens to the United States for commercial advantage and private financial gain.
According to the plea documents, Urquizo and her mother-in-law, Burrows, ”facilitated the illegal smuggling of Brazilian nationals into the United States by working for a known alien smuggler in Brazil”.
It said the two women provided lodging and transportation to undocumented migrants waiting on a boat to take them to the United States and charged between US$100 and US$125 per day.
The court documents said Urquizo and Burrows received instructions from Brazil-based smugglers on when and where to deliver certain undocumented migrants to waiting boats for passage to the United States.
“Urquizo and Burrows admitted that they brought undocumented migrants, all of whom are Brazilian nationals, to the United States for financial gain,” Breuer said, adding the women admitted to taking payment for lodging the undocumented migrants at various hotels and stash houses, including a nursing home operated by Burrows.
Burrows admitted to “working with Urquizo, taking payment for lodging undocumented migrants at her nursing home and providing transportation,” the Assistant Attorney General said.
He said Urquizo faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a US$250,000 fine, and Burrows faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a US$250,000 fine when they come up for sentencing on March 22.