A Missouri woman pleaded guilty in federal court Monday, May 7, to her role in a more than $5 million conspiracy that utilized the Missouri Department of Revenue license office in St. Joseph to provide more than 3,500 fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens across the United States.
The guilty plea resulted from an investigation conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations; the Buchanan County (Mo.) Sheriff's Department; the St. Joseph (Mo.) Police Department; the Platte County (Mo.) Sheriff's Department; the Missouri State Highway Patrol; the Missouri Department of Revenue Investigation Bureau; the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Christina Michelle Gonzalez, 23, of
By pleading guilty, Gonzalez admitted to participating in a conspiracy from November 2009 to January 2012 to transport illegal aliens, unlawfully produce identification documents, unlawfully transfer another person's identification, and commit Social Security fraud.
During the conspiracy, thousands of illegal aliens traveled from across the
Gonzalez admitted that she accompanied illegal aliens to the
Gonzalez instructed and assisted the illegal aliens to practice memorizing the information on the birth certificates and Social Security cards and to practice signing the name on those documents so that the signatures would be similar. She also assisted the illegal aliens to prepare for potential questions from the license office employees.
Gonzalez assisted the illegal aliens who did not live in
The illegal aliens were usually charged between $1,500 and $1,600 for the document sets and the
Under federal statutes, Gonzalez is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess E. Michaelsen, Western District of Missouri, is prosecuting the case.