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Fugitive Arrested in Puerto Rico for Money Laundering Operations in New England

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested a 47-year-old Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) fugitive Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, who is wanted in the state of Massachusetts for money laundering.

HSI San Juan special agents arrested Juan Carlos Guadalupe-Nuñez during a law enforcement operation near the Villa Prades shopping center in Rio Piedras. Guadalupe-Nuñez is listed as one of the most wanted fugitives by the DEA New England division. He is subject to an outstanding federal arrest warrant issued inMassachusettsfor conspiracy to launder money, money laundering, and aiding and abetting.

Subsequent to Guadalupe-Nuñez’s arrest and during an inspection of his vehicle, HSI special agents and San Juan Police Department officers found a loaded 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun.

“The arrest of this Massachusetts DEA fugitive by HSI special agents in Puerto Rico should send a loud and clear message to those criminals who try to evade justice by fleeing a particular jurisdiction: They can run but they cannot hide,” said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. “HSI will continue working with our local, state and federal partners in an effort to protect our communities from those who pose a threat to our public safety and security.”

Guadalupe-Nuñez was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting the outcome of his case.

ICE aggressively investigates money laundering and international financial crimes. In recent decades, U.S. law enforcement has encountered an increasing number of major financial crimes, frequently resulting from the needs for drug trafficking organizations to launder large sums of criminal proceeds through legitimate financial institutions and investment vehicles.

Operation Cornerstone is ICE’s initiative to detect and close down weaknesses within U.S. financial, trade and transportation sectors that can be exploited by criminal networks. Law enforcement entities share criminal typologies and methods with businesses and industries that manage the very systems that terrorists and criminal organizations seek to exploit. This sharing of information allows the financial and trade community to take precautions in order to protect themselves from exploitation.