Suspected baby-smuggling lawyer out on $1 million bond in N.Y.C.

Date: 1999-07-03

The Arizona Daily Star
Author: Tim Steller

Mario Reyes Burgue�o, the Douglas lawyer accused of baby trafficking, was released from custody in New York yesterday after posting a $1 million bond.

Reyes' defense put together seven properties, most of them in Arizona, as security for the bond, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Macht. The properties belong to friends and family members.

During the hearing in New York City, Macht opposed releasing Reyes on the grounds that he has undisclosed assets elsewhere.

A woman who answered the telephone at his house in Douglas said she expected Reyes home tomorrow.

Reyes, 41, has been in custody since he was arrested May 25 at his Douglas house. He faces charges of conspiring to illegally bring 17 babies across the border from Mexico, mail fraud and wire fraud.

Two women from Long Island, N.Y. - Arlene Reingold and Arlene Lieberman - also were arrested May 25 on the same charges. The trio allegedly charged women up to $22,000 apiece for babies brought into the United States illegally.

All three have pleaded innocent. The women were released within days after posting a $150,000 bond each.

On June 1, federal prosecutors in Tucson opposed setting a bond for Reyes on the grounds that he might flee to Mexico. Until November, Reyes, who grew up on both sides of the border, ran a legal practice in Agua Prieta, Sonora.

But then Mexican investigators arrested one of Reyes' employees on a baby-trafficking charge and inquired about charging the attorney. Fearing arrest, Reyes hasn't returned to Mexico since, his lawyer said at the June hearing.


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