Fairfield County Couple Accused of Smuggling Infant Into U.S. - NBC Connecticut

Fairfield County Couple Accused of Smuggling Infant Into U.S.



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    A Fairfield County is accused of smuggling a child into the U.S. from Guatemala.

    Federal officials have charged a Fairfield County couple accused of conspiring to smuggle an infant from Guatemala into the United States, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    Officials said Maria Gonzalez, 42, of Stamford,  is accused of traveling to Guatemala in March 2009 and meeting with a pregnant 14-year-old girl who agreed to give Gonzalez her child, according to officials.

    Gonzalez agreed to pay for the birth mother’s delivery and some additional costs, officials said.
     The child was born on April 18, 2009 and the birth mother gave the child to Gonzalez and her husband, Henry Fernando Lopez, 36, of Fairfield, officials said.

    Gonzalez visited the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City after the child was born and attempted to acquire travel documents for the infant, but could provide medical documents showing that she was the baby’s mother, so she was denied, officials said.

    Gonzalez then found someone in Guatemala, paid $6,000 for a fake U.S. passport in the child’s name and used it to enter the U.S. at the Port of San Ysidro in California on July 14, 2009, officials said.

    The child has been in the custody of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families since October 2012.

    Gonzalez, a citizen of Argentina and a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., was also charged with misuse of a U.S. passport, and forgery or false use of a passport.

    Gonzalez appeared on April 16 before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and was released on a $100,000 bond. 

    Law enforcement officers are looking for Lopez.

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