11 indicted in ID scam downstate

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced the Indictment, on June 21, of eleven illegal aliens for charges related to the production and trafficking of fraudulent U.S. identification documents, such as Permanent Resident cards (“Green Cards”) and Social Security cards. The indictment follows a ten-month investigation by the Grand Rapids office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which culminated in the execution of five search warrants in Holland and Grand Rapids early on the morning of June 14, and the arrests of 14 illegal aliens associated with the investigation. The Indictment alleges that the Defendants, most of whom are related, conspired to engage in document production and trafficking from August 2011 until June 14, in order to profit from providing fraudulent documents to illegal aliens in the Western District of Michigan. The Indictment also alleges numerous specific instances of documents being delivered by members of the conspiracy.

The Defendants are: Juan Jose Morales-Martinez (32), Jacinto Morales-Martinez (47), Maria De La Luz Mendoza-Martinez (43), Jacinto Jonathan Morales-Mendoza (19), Ricardo Uriel Morales-Jimenez (20), Hugo Alexis Morales-Jimenez (21), Luis Alberto Morales-Jimenez (23), Giovanni Sanabria-Morales (28), Rodolfo Esquivel (60), Ledin Over Ovalle-Perez (28), and Amparo Mercado (35). With the exception of Ovalle-Perez, who is a Guatemalan national, all of the Defendants are citizens of Mexico. “Document and identity fraud is a serious crime motivated by greed. It affects real people and has far-reaching, serious implications for law- abiding Americans,” said Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Detroit. “Today’s arrests demonstrate HSI’s resolve to work proactively with our law enforcement partners to stop this activity in its tracks.”

If convicted, the Defendants face maximum penalties of up to 15 years in prison, fines of $250,000, and removal from the United States to their countries of origin.

Charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

This case is being prosecuted on behalf of the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hagen W. Frank.

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