In South Florida, two women, Jessie Katherine Gonzales Urquizo, age thirty-seven, originally from Peru, and Irene Mildred Janette Burrows, sixty-six, originally from the Bahamas, pled guilty on January 11, 2013. The guilty pleas are to smuggling persons without documents to the United States for personal financial gain.
The guilty pleas were entered in the in the Southern District of Florida. Urquizo pled to three counts and Burrows pled guilty to two counts, of attempt and actually bringing unlawful aliens to the United States for their own private gain and commercial advantage.
Urquizo, together with her mother-in-law, Burrows, engaged in the illegal smuggling of Brazilian nationals into the United States by working with a known alien smuggler in Brazil. The two woman provided housing and transportation to undocumented immigrants while they waited offshore on a ship to bring them to the U.S. The smuggled persons were charged approximately $125 per day. Urquizo and Burrows got their orders from smugglers in Brazil. Their orders included when and where to deliver the smugglees to waiting boats to be transported the United States.
The two admitted their actions were for their own financial benefit. Admissions included taking money for shelter at hotels and safe houses, which included a nursing home operated by Burrows. Urquizo also admitted arranging for food and transportation to a waiting boat getting orders from a known human smuggler in Brazil. For her part, Burrows admitted getting paid for housing at the nursing home and for transportation.
Sentencing is set for March 22, 2013. Urquizo faces 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while Burrows faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was prosecuted by the Criminal Division's Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and the office of the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Florida.