TWO Brazilians have been jailed for smuggling illegal migrants to the United States through an elaborate network which included Nassau and Freeport.
Juliana Rose Tome-Froes and her husband, Fabio Rodrigues Froes, were sentenced in Miami to 60 months and 46 months in prison, respectively, for smuggling undocumented migrants to the US for profit.
Tome-Froes, 36, and Froes, 49, were sentenced by US District Court Judge Federico A. Moreno in the Southern District of Florida on Thursday.
In addition to the prison sentences, Judge Moreno ordered each defendant to forfeit $150,000 in illegal proceeds.
On January 16, Tome-Froes and Froes pleaded guilty to charges arising from their
involvement in human smuggling.
According to court documents, from at least October 2008 until approximately September 2010, the defendants organised, operated and managed a human smuggling network that spanned from Brazil to France, England, The Bahamas and the United States.
The defendants met with undocumented migrants and negotiated forms of payment to be smuggled into the United States.
Before the undocumented migrants departed Brazil, the defendants instructed them to act like tourists and explained that the itinerary through Europe would support a tourist cover story.
In exchange for approximately $16,000, Tome-Froes, with assistance from Froes, arranged air transportation from Brazil to Paris, then London and Nassau.
Tome-Froes arranged the migrants’ lodging in Paris and Nassau, and then instructed them to fly to Freeport, where they waited for a boat to transport them to the US.
For the final leg into the United States, Tome-Froes coordinated with various individuals in South Florida to pilot a small boat to Freeport, which picked up the migrants and transported them across the water.
According to court documents, the defendants knew the undocumented migrants did not have authorisation to enter the United States.
The investigation was conducted by ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Miami.