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Alien smuggler convicted in Miami

Nov. 8, 2004 at 11:45 AM

KEY WEST, Fla., Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The ninth alleged member of a smuggling ring that brought Cuban nationals to Florida has been convicted, The Miami Herald reported Monday.

Convicted in U.S. District Court was Amisaday Alvarez Aguilar, 28. He faces 15 years in prison.

He was the only one of the nine who did not plead guilty. One of the other eight, Jose Ramon Lopez, testified against Alvarez.

Lopez and two of the illegal immigrants testified Alvarez and Lopez went to Cuba in a 26-foot speedboat, picked up 12 Cubans and brought them to the Florida Keys.

In all, Alvarez was charged with conspiring to bring 81 Cubans to the United States in four trips. The indictment against the nine was handed down in February.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Shelby Highsmith took four days and wound up Friday.He was convicted of one count of conspiring to smuggle aliens for financial gain and 12 counts of smuggling aliens for financial gain.

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