July 11th, 2007 06:04 EST
Sports agent sentenced to 5 years following ICE-led investigation
WASHINGTON - A 48-year-old Los Angeles sports agent who organized and paid for the smuggling of five Cuban baseball players for the purpose of profiting by subsequently representing them as their sports agent was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Key West, Fla., yesterday to serve five years in prison following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The announcement of Gustavo Dominguez` sentence was made today by R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Dominguez, who was sentenced by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, was convicted on April 12 on charges of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling for profit, alien smuggling for profit, bringing aliens to the United States, transporting and harboring aliens for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain.
"This is a prime example of a respected community member using his position to smuggle people into this country illegally, putting lives at risk and compromising the integrity of our borders to make a profit," said Marcy M. Forman, Director of the ICE Office of Investigations. "This sentence tells any others in the human smuggling business that no one is above the law."
Dominguez is the first sports agent to be charged and convicted of alien smuggling. According to the evidence presented at trial, Dominguez organized two smuggling trips by hiring individuals to pick up baseball players in Cuba using go-fast boats. The government established that Dominguez paid for the smuggling of five Cuban baseball players into the United States for the purpose of profiting by subsequently representing them as their sports agent. The first trip in July 2004 failed when the United States Coast Guard interdicted the boat on its way to the United States. However, a second smuggling trip in August of 2004 was successful.
ICE thanked Major League Baseball officials for their cooperation during the investigation. The criminal case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin Daniel and Marcus Christian of the United States Attorney`s Office for the Southern District of Florida; The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection assisted in this investigation.