updated 4/7/2004 8:59:58 AM ET 2004-04-07T12:59:58

A former employee at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has been accused of conspiring with a Colombian couple in a bribery scheme that allegedly let dozens of drug cartel members and leftist guerrillas get doctored U.S. visas.

Julieta Quiroz, 49, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nicaragua, made at least $345,000 selling about 180 visas to enter the United States, according to criminal complaints filed by prosecutors in Miami federal court.

She also is accused of conspiring with Colombians Olga Elena Ramirez and her husband, Juan Carlos Ramirez, who allegedly arranged to get some of those visas to traffickers and guerrillas with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The three were charged with conspiracy, bribery and visa fraud. Juan Carlos Ramirez also laundered money in Mexico for an unspecified Colombian cocaine cartel, according to a court affidavit.

Quiroz resigned from the State Department before her arrest on Friday, said Stuart Patt, a State Department spokesman. Quiroz was freed on bail Monday, said her lawyer, David Oscar Markus.

Markus said Quiroz “looks forward to contesting these charges.”

Her husband, Walter, is an attache at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua, Markus said.

The Ramirezes were freed on bail Friday.

An indictment against the three is now under consideration by a South Florida federal grand jury.

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