Monday, August 20, 2012

Guatemalan Nationals Indicted for Immigration and Document Fraud

A federal grand jury indicted two Guatemalan nationals Wednesday, August 15, 2012, for conspiring to provide false identity documents so more than 100 illegal aliens could fraudulently obtain driver's and non-driver's licenses from the Department of Revenue license office in St. Joseph, Mo. These indictments resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Domingo Ajanel-Castro, 33, a Guatemalan national residing in St. Joseph, Mo., and Pedro Pablo-Solis, 28, a Guatemalan national residing in Liberal, Kan., were charged in an 18-count superseding indictment returned Aug. 15 by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo.

This indictment replaces an earlier indictment that charged only Ajanel-Castro.

The indictment alleges that Ajanel-Castro and Pablo-Solis, both illegal aliens from Guatemala, participated in a conspiracy from July 1, 2010 to Jan. 10, 2012 to sell fraudulent birth certificates and Social Security cards in the names of others. The indictment alleges that illegal aliens traveled to St. Joseph, Mo., from across the United States to obtain either a Missouri driver's license or non-driver's license by using unlawfully obtained birth certificates and Social Security cards. The illegal aliens then used the state licenses to remain unlawfully in the United States, to unlawfully obtain employment, or for other unlawful purposes.

It is estimated that more than 100 Missouri licenses have been unlawfully issued to illegal aliens as part of this conspiracy.

Ajanel-Castro allegedly received identification document sets from Pablo-Solis, who obtained and sold state-issued birth certificates and corresponding Social Security cards in matching document sets. Ajanel-Castro then sold the document sets to the illegal aliens, the indictment states, for between $500 and $950 for the document sets and the licenses.

The illegal aliens were then charged an additional fee of about $100 to be escorted to the license office in St. Joseph. Individuals accompanied illegal aliens into the St. Joseph license office under the guise of being translators, the indictment says, to assist them with obtaining Missouri licenses in the name of another person.

These individuals assisted illegal aliens prepare for potential questions from the license office employees, such as information on the birth certificates and the Social Security numbers. They also assisted with having them practice signing the name so that the signatures would be similar. The individuals also provided Missouri residential addresses to the illegal aliens who did not live in Missouri, the indictment says.

In addition to the conspiracy, Ajanel-Castro and Pablo-Solis are charged together in three counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of Social Security fraud, and two counts of illegally transferring a person's identity documents to another person.

Ajanel-Castro is also charged with four more counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of illegally producing identification documents, one count of possessing false documents, one count of making a false statement on a federal document, and one count of illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported.

The public is reminded that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford, Western District of Missouri, is prosecuting the case.

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