A former deportation officer was sentenced Wednesday to three years and one month in prison, plus three years in supervised release after pleading guilty in a case involving more than $2.4 million found by customs agents at Miami International Airport in the luggage of two women with whom he had just arrived June 4 from the Dominican Republic.
Luis de Jesús Alonzo, 44, expressed sorrow in a brief statement in court after U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced him in downtown Miami.
“I have been in law enforcement for years, with no criminal conduct before I made a bad choice that day,” Alonzo said. “I have had an impeccable record, a record that reflects a totally different person from the one that day.”
Moore said that while he did not disagree with Alonzo’s self-analysis, “every time a law enforcement officer engages in criminal behavior it undermines public confidence in law enforcement.”
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The sentence marked the end of the case involving Alonzo after Customs and Border Protection officers at MIA found the money hidden in bags of diapers and baby towels in the luggage of the two women. They did not find any money in Alonzo’s baggage, but he did sign the customs declaration that made no mention of the $2.4 million.
The group had just returned from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. Alonzo, a deportation officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was accompanying Milka Alfaro with whom he has a young daughter, and Alfaro’s mother Mildrey González. The two women have been linked by investigators to a separate Medicare fraud case.