South Florida

Deportation officer accused of concealing $2.4 million in luggage

TSA personnel work security equipment at Miami International Airport.
TSA personnel work security equipment at Miami International Airport. el Nuevo Herald File/2013

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer has appeared before a federal judge in Miami to plead not guilty for the second time after a grand jury handed down a superseding indictment in a case linking him and two women to concealing $2.4 million in luggage.

Luis de Jesús Alonzo, 44, was in court for a second time Aug. 18 after the grand jury filed the indictment seven days earlier against him and the two women, Mildrey González and Milka Alfaro. The superseding indictment charges them with conspiracy to allegedly hide the $2.4 million in seven suitcases and bags the group carried after arriving from Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic, on June 4.

In the original criminal complaint, Alonzo was not identified by name — only as Person A. The complaint also said that he was not carrying money in his luggage. The money was found in the women's luggage.

However, Alonzo filled out and signed the customs declaration for the group as "responsible family member," saying the group was not carrying "over ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) in United States currency," according to the superseding indictment.

It was not until a grand jury handed down the original indictment June 24 that Alonzo's name came to light. It wasn't until July 20 when prosecutors gave the court a memo on the case that Alonzo was identified as an ICE deportation officer.

González is Alfaro's mother, according to court records. Alonzo and Alfaro have a minor daughter, according to the same records.

ICE has declined to comment because the case is still active in court. The attorneys for all three defendants have also declined comment.

ICE released a statement on Monday: “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.”