A new clue has emerged in the case of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer detained at Miami International Airport in early June as he arrived from the Dominican Republic with two women in whose luggage agents found about $2.4 million.
A recent unsuccessful legal attempt by the officer, Luis de Jesús Alonzo, to subpoena two fellow ICE officers in the case revealed that Alonzo had traveled to the Dominican Republic in search of his daughter, whom he thought had “disappeared.”
The disclosure could help explain why no money was found in Alonzo’s luggage. It seems to match indications from people close to the case that the ICE deportation officer may not have been aware that the women’s luggage contained the concealed money.
The latest development adds yet another twist to the complex case in which the ICE deportation officer has been implicated.
It began June 4, when Customs and Border Protection officers at MIA inspected the luggage of Alonzo and the two women, Mildrey González and Milka Alfaro, who were all arriving from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic aboard an American Airlines flight. González is Alfaro’s mother. Alfaro and Alonzo have a minor daughter who was with the group on arrival from Puerto Plata. They were admitted without problems at passport control as U.S. citizens, but ran into an issue when they attempted to clear customs.
When Customs officers checked their luggage, they discovered the $2.4 million concealed in the women’s bags, according to court records. But they did not find money in Alonzo’s bags, according to the original criminal complaint.
However, authorities indicted Alonzo along with the women because he filled out and signed the customs declaration as the “responsible family member” for the group, according to the indictment.
Why the women had the $2.4 million in the luggage was not explained in the criminal complaint, but subsequent court documents provided additional clues.
A lengthy memo from prosecutors says that federal agents revealed a previously “covert” investigation in February, when they raided a property connected to the women because of a separate Medicare fraud investigation. The women took steps to liquidate assets and leave the country.
“On February 15, 2016, both flew to the Dominican Republic via private charter leaving from Opa-locka Airport,” according to the prosecutors’ memo.
It was then that Alonzo decided to travel on his own to the Dominican Republic, according to court records.
At the time, according to court records, Alonzo met with two fellow ICE officers to discuss a situation.
“Mr. Alonzo has conversations with them that are relevant to this case, in particular, that his child’s mother had disappeared with his daughter and he did not know where she was,” according to a subpoena request filed by Alonzo’s attorney, Marshall Dore Louis — since withdrawn.
Louis and ICE declined to comment on the case.
However, ICE issued a statement that deals with conduct expected from employees.
“ICE takes accusations of misconduct very seriously. As the matter is currently under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on this specific case. As public servants working for a law enforcement agency, every employee at ICE is held to the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct.”