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  Transcripts

Special Event

FBI: INS Official Arrested on Charges of Espionage

Aired February 18, 2000 - 11:16 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL TUCKER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we break away now and go to Miami where the FBI is holding its news conference about the arrest of the INS official. Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... director for INS. Beside him is Al Hazen (ph). He's the special-agent-in-charge of the Office of Inspector General for the Miami area. Next to him, of course, is Bob Wallis. Bob is district director of INS. On my left here is the Honorable Tom Scott, the United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Beside Tom is Assistant United States Attorney Kurt Minor (ph) who has worked very diligently and tirelessly with us on this case. And beside Kurt is Assistant Special-Agent-in-Charge Luis Fernandez (ph) who will be giving the Spanish translation of the press conference after we conclude here.

What I'd like to do is make this press conference in two parts, if you don't mind. It's one of those rare occasions where we have a couple of good things to say about the FBI and the government, so I would like to exploit that a little bit.

The first announcement is the arrest yesterday of John Fidler Loquendo Moreno (ph). Loquendo Moreno was being sought for the double homicide of Jorge Elicier (ph), Munroy Munoz (ph) and his son, Auxiliary Police Officer Douglas Fabian Munroy Carbohone (ph).

The significant of this arrest is that it also involves the INS and the FBI, and it is the arrest for the execution-style slaying of two victims which took place in Cali, Colombia. This joint effort by the FBI, INS, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, the Davie Police Department, the Broward County Sheriff's Office will serve to enhance the cooperative law enforcement efforts between the United States and Colombia, and we're proud to have been a part of that.

The next announcement concerns Operation False Blue and the investigation that it involved. Before the press conference began, there was a question out there, what was the significance of False Blue? I think most of us refer to the red, white and blue of the U.S.A. with some degree of affection. And if you're, of course, true to the red, white and blue, you're considered to be a true-blue citizen. That, then, is the significance of the Operation False Blue.

Mariano Faget has been charged with violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 793, and with making false statements in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 101. Mario Faget was employed as a supervisory district adjudication officer and is and was the section chief for adjudication in the Miami field office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Faget held a secret security clearance at INS, and he was responsible for supervising adjudication and naturalization decisions by the INS Miami field office.

Faget is known to have placed telephone calls from his home telephone to an extension at the Cuban Interests Section, which is a representative office of the Cuban government in Washington, D.C. Faget has met with representatives of the Cuban Interests Section who has been identified by the FBI to be a Cuban intelligence officer. Faget has met with a second Cuban intelligence officer in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel here in Miami.

And during the past year, Faget has also had numerous contacts with a Cuban-born resident alien who is the chief executive officer of a business located in New York City, New York. The New York businessman, in turn, is known to have had several meetings with agents and representatives of the Cuban government during the past year.

On February the 11th of this year, a meeting was arranged to take place between Faget, Assistant District Director Jim Goldman and Special-Agent-in-Charge Hector Pescarra of the FBI field office here in Miami.

At this meeting, Faget was told that the purpose of the meeting was to seek his assistance with respect to the imminent defection to the United States of a high-ranking Cuban intelligence officer. Faget was also told that the matter was very time sensitive and involved critically sensitive issue.

TUCKER: All right, we've been listening to a press conference being held by the FBI down in Miami. It concerns the arrest of Mariano Faget. He is the section chief for adjudications down in the Miami office of INS. He is being charged with espionage, for spying with the Cuban government.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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