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Lawyer Admits Smuggling Ring Role

October 2, 1999

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ An attorney from Arizona pleaded guilty to taking part in an illegal adoption ring in which 17 Mexican babies were smuggled across the border and placed in American homes for $20,000 or more.

Mario Reyes, who also kept an office in the Mexican town of Agua Prieta, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to conspiracy and to submitting false paperwork. He could be sentenced to nearly 3 1/2 years in prison and could be fined up to $250,000.

Reyes also agreed to pay a total of $125,000 to the adoptive parents, many of whom were from New York’s Long Island.

In July, two Long Island women pleaded guilty to breaking immigration laws for their part in the ring. Arlene Lieberman and Arlene Reingold, neighbors in the community of Medford, face up to 2 years in prison and were ordered to pay restitution to the American families.

The women have yet to be sentenced. Reyes will be sentenced Dec. 17.

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