Judge Mary Alice Theiler, U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, released Omega Penalosa Paulite, alleged co-conspirator of former Rep. Nathan Cooper, R-Cape Girardeau, on a PR (personal recognizance bond) during a hearing today. Cooper pleaded guilty last week to immigration fraud charges.
Court records indicate Ms. Paulite has to turn over her passport and other travel documents and will be under supervision. Future hearings in the case will be held in Missouri.The government had wanted Ms. Paulite to stay behind bars until her trial, claiming in court documents that she is "a serious risk to threaten or injure a prospective witness," "a serious risk to obstruct justice," and "a serious" flight risk.
Ms. Paulite was charged with selling Cooper more than 100 visa approvals designated for the hospitality and temporary service industries, allowing workers to come to the U. S. illegally. Cooper gave the visas to trucking companies.