Ten persons have been indicted by a federal grand jury here in connection with what officials allege was a fake marriage scheme, involving a number of AT&T employes, that permitted a number of Peruvians to enter this country illegally.
The 10-count indictment, unsealed late Thursday, names Jaime R. Ruiz-Mercado, 37, of 2528 Chain Bridge Rd., Vienna, as the leader of a ring that allegedly arranged fraudulent marriages between American citizens and Peruvian nationals to obtain resident alien status for the Peruvians. He is employed by the computer division of AT&T in Oakton.
The indictment said several American women, who were not indicted, were paid each $3,000 to marry Peruvians. Most of the women worked at AT&T's Oakton facility with Ruiz-Mercado, according to the indictment, which labeled them unindicted coconspirators.
Anthony Cascio, an agent for the Immigration and Naturalization Service who headed the investigation known as Operation Inca, said the alleged marriage fraud ring was the largest case of its kind in the District. He said an anonymous tip led to the probe, which is continuing.
The parties "to the arranged marriages did not intend to be married, or to act as a married couple other than for the purpose of petitioning the INS for an Alien Registration Receipt Card, commonly referred to as a 'green card,' " according to the indictment.
The charges against those allegedly involved in the ring include conspiracy, false statements and false statements under oath to the INS. The charges carry possible five-year prison terms and fines of $250,000.
Several of those charged have been arrested and presented before a federal magistrate here. They were required to relinquish their passports and were warned against attempting to talk to the women involved in the marriages.
Charged in the indictment in addition to Ruiz, who was released on bond, are:Oscar Palomino, 40, 212 Shenandoah St., Leesburg. He has not been arrested. Orlando Gamarra, no age available, 7757 Durer Ct., Springfield. He was released on bond after a hearing yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Arthur Burnett. Glorismel Gonzalez, 23, 2528 Chain Bridge Rd., Vienna, who was released on bond. Baldev Singh Khera, 28, 9001 Continental Place, Landover, who has not been arrested. Maritza Maco, 27, 5636 N. Sixth St., Arlington, who was released on bond. Calixto Carbajal, 31, 6160 Wilston Dr., Falls Church, who is in custody in Alexandria. Marcelina Davila, 23, 11103 Gainsborough St., Fairfax, in custody in Alexandria. Amy Davila and Juan Davila, both of the Gainsborough Street address, who have not been arrested.