Sheriff deputies in Florida busted an illegal immigrant for falsely alleging a kidnapping plot in an effort to avoid deportation.
According to Marion County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, Alma Delia Duran, 52, was arrested for making a false report of a crime. Detectives made the arrest on July 15.
The incident began on March 2, when deputies responded to a missing person report at the Baseline Golf Course in Ocala.
Duran’s co-workers had reported her missing after they found her abandoned lawnmower. While looking into that, investigators learned of a naked woman walking alongside a county road a few miles away.
The woman turned out to be Duran, who claimed she had been kidnapped, knocked unconscious, and left on the side of the road.
During the investigation, detectives learned of a man, Luis Guerrero, who had been Duran’s lover for the last five years.
Guerrero told authorities that on the morning Duran claimed to be abducted they had been driving around having sex. He reportedly got cold feet and backed out of the plot. She then told him to leave her by the road and that “she would take care of the rest,” deputies reported.
Guerrero told investigators that Duran shared that she was going to try to obtain U.S. citizenship by claiming to be the victim of a violent crime, which is a process known as a “U visa.”
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U visas are granted to victims of certain crimes, such as human trafficking and sexual assault, who have suffered mental or physical abuse and help law enforcement or government officials in investigating or prosecuting criminal activity.
Detectives initially believed Duran could have been sexually assaulted but found Duran’s story collapsed as the investigation continued.
“Nothing is more important to me as the sheriff than ensuring violent criminals are apprehended and locked away in jails and prisons,” Sheriff Billy Woods said in a statement.
“When we received the initial report of this crime, I asked my deputies and detectives to leave no stone unturned in the search for the individual responsible. Ms. Duran’s false report took away resources that we could have used to investigate actual crimes that occurred against our citizens.”
The sheriff added, “Were it not for the hard work of my detectives, it is possible that this woman could have succeeded in her attempt to defraud the U visa process. This case serves as a reminder that the situation at our country’s borders affects what local law enforcement encounters every day.”
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