SENTENCES HANDED DOWN IN BABY SMUGGLING CASE
One man and two women were sentenced for their roles in t smuggling ring that brought children from Mexico to be adopted by US parents who had no idea they were adopting children who had been smuggled into the US. Manuel Reyes Burgueno, a Mexican attorney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay 5,000 in restitution to the US parents. The women, Arlene Lieberman and Arlene Reingold, were both sentenced to 15 months in prison and order to pay ,500 in restitution.
All three had pled guilty to conspiracy charges last year. At lease 23 babies were brought into the US this way over the past few years. Some of the adoptive parents, most of whom lived in New York, paid as much as ,000 for the adoptions. During the sentencing hearing, the women apologized for their role in the scheme. Reyes, however, continued to defend his actions. He said he was saving the children from lives of poverty in Mexico. The judge did not believe his claims, saying he profited greatly from his smuggling activities.
The INS has said it will not deport the children involved and will not take any action against the adoptive parents. The Mexican government is reportedly seeking an extradition order against Reye.