Couple Plead Guilty To Harboring Alien | News
GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA) - An Upper Marlboro couple has pleaded guilty to harboring a Filipina national whom they had arranged to bring to the U.S. on false pretenses, according to U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod. J. Rosenstein.
The guilty pleas were announced by Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to their plea agreements, Alfred Edwards, 74, and Gloria Edwards, 60, arranged in October 1998 for a national of the Philippines to come to the United States under false pretenses. Gloria Edwards paid $5,000 to help cover the costs of the woman's travel and entry into the United States, including paying another person to help secure a visa under false pretenses.
The Edwardses knew that the woman entered the U.S. without disclosing the truth regarding the purpose of her visit, or that she would be residing at their home. The woman arrived in the U.S. in May 1999, in the company of the person that Gloria Edwards had paid. Gloria Edwards drove her to the Edwards' home in Bowie, where she primarily resided until she left in August 2009.
The couple admitted that during the more than 10 years that the woman was in the United States, they took steps to fraudulently get her permanent resident status, including arranging a sham marriage.
As part of their plea agreements, prior to sentencing the Edwardses will pay $6,716.20, to satisfy the disputed amount relating to allegations that they misappropriated funds that were due to the estate of a relative. In addition, prior to sentencing the couple must transfer an amount, to be agreed upon by the parties, to be held in an escrow account controlled by their attorneys. These funds will be used to satisfy any restitution ordered at sentencing
The Edwardses each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. They are scheduled for sentencing on September 20 and 21.