NATIONAL NEWS

Arizona man charged with smuggling diamonds through Florida

Apr 28, 2023, 4:36 PM

MIAMI (AP) — An Arizona man was charged in South Florida with illegally smuggling diamonds into the United States.

Guilherme Cipriani, 41, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was arrested Wednesday in his home state, according to court records. He made his first court appearance in Arizona, but his next court date is scheduled for May 24 in Miami. That’s where a federal grand jury indicted him in March on charges of smuggling diamonds into the U.S. and providing a false statement to a federal agency. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

Cipriani tried to smuggle 14 loose-cut diamonds and 53 rough-uncut diamonds into the U.S. through Miami International Airport on Nov. 10, according to the indictment. Officials didn’t provide an estimate for the value of the diamonds.

Cipriani also lied when he told a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent at the airport that he was not transporting commercial merchandise into the country and had spent zero dollars on commercial merchandise while abroad, prosecutors said.

The indictment didn’t say where Cipriani got the diamonds or what country he was traveling from.

A defense attorney for Cipriani didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment from The Associated Press.

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Arizona man charged with smuggling diamonds through Florida