Diplomatic Security Service Investigation Leads to Indictment of Human Traffickers

The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) was instrumental in the indictment of Romanian national Tudor Deaconu.

Deaconu was indicted on federal charges in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois on charges that included one count of bringing in and harboring aliens and three counts of unlawful employment of aliens. He was the owner of TDA Constructions Inc., a construction company based in Lincolnwood, Ill. Deaconu conspired with another individual to illegally transport Romanian nationals into the United States by way of Canada from 2018, until at least May 2019.

The scheme came to light after the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest received reports of human trafficking connected to Deaconu.

“Victims can connect with DSS at any U.S. Embassy to report being victimized in U.S. trafficking schemes,” said DSS Special Agent Douglas Miller.

Miller and Investigative Analyst Carin Zuger, together with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), led the inquiry into visas obtained under false pretenses, human trafficking, and transnational organized crime.

Although the investigation began abroad, Miller and Zuger were essential from its beginning. While Zuger analyzed data and looked for links among all the parties involved, Miller conducted interviews, performed surveillance, and tracked the suspect and his co-conspirators. Miller’s work took him to Europe to interview the original complainants and complete the initial investigative steps. Because of the route the immigrants took to get to the United States, Miller worked with the governments of several countries, as well as Gurnee and Berwyn police departments in Illinois.

“This case involved coordinated investigative activity with governments in four countries; given our global reach, DSS has the unique ability to do this successfully,” stated Miller.

Miller also worked alongside several DSS investigative teams overseas, including the Regional Security Office in Bucharest when it was time to interview the numerous international targets and conspirators that were part of Deaconu’s scheme. It is also important to note these international investigative efforts would not have been successful without the support of international partners, particularly the Romanian National Police and Interpol. Miller and Zuger discovered that Deaconu developed a comprehensive trafficking operation and brought in HSI to assist with the immigration aspects of the investigation.

“[During the investigation], we witnessed him employing undocumented individuals regularly, even after he was aware of the investigation. Numerous workers claimed to be underpaid or threatened with deportation if they didn’t accept his conditions,” claimed Miller.

Deaconu’s trial is scheduled for the spring of 2024.

DSS has the largest global presence of any U.S. law enforcement organization, operating at more than 270 U.S. diplomatic posts in over 170 countries, and in more than 32 U.S. cities. DSS leads worldwide security and law enforcement efforts to advance U.S. foreign policy, safeguard national security interests, and investigate transnational crimes.

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