A Criminal Court in the province of Alajuela on Wednesday sentenced a Cuban man with the last names Montero Delgado to 16 months in prison for helping Cuban nationals to illegally enter Mexico and the U.S. from Costa Rica.
Montero will not serve any time in prison in the country as he was given a suspended sentence for three years and will be deported to the United States in coming days, where he is wanted on robbery charges in Miami, Florida. He is a legalU.S. resident, Immigration Administration officials reported.
Montero is the first foreigner convicted of human trafficking in Costa Rica, the Immigration Administration reported. The man was arrested Wednesday in a house in Sabana Norte, west of the capital, and pleaded guilty before the court.
He was forbidden from returning to Costa Rica for the next five years.
Montero's operation consisted of coordinating transportation for Cuban nationals – usually by air – from South American destinations to Costa Rica, and then sending them to Mexico and the United States using altered passports.
Immigration authorities estimate that the man likely helped transport at least 20 people as part of an international trafficking network.
Human trafficking in Costa Rica is punishable by sentences ranging from two to six years in prison.