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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 14, 2014

250th Bay Area Resident Charged With Federal Passport Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – Over the past nine months, eight Bay Area residents have been charged with federal passport offenses, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent in Charge Dean K. Shear.

According to court records and proceedings, the following eight defendants all misrepresented their identity on applications for United States passports or committed related offenses in violation of either 18 U.S.C. § 1542, false statement in application for a passport, or 18 U.S.C. § 1028, fraud in connection with identification documents:

Eduardo Palomares, of Salinas, Calif., is alleged to have applied for a passport using another person’s birth certificate. Palomares eluded arrest in March, 2013, and remains a fugitive.

Rogelio Gonzalez Garcia, of San Jose, Calif., is alleged to have applied for a passport using another person’s birth certificate. Garcia eluded arrest in May, 2013, and remains a fugitive.

Edith Gonzalez Garcia, of Los Gatos, Calif., was convicted of applying for a passport using another person’s birth certificate. Garcia was arrested in July, 2013, and pleaded guilty on February 19, 2014. Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced on May 22, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. by the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen, United States District Judge, in San Jose.

Enedina Delatorre Billalobos, of Richmond, Calif., is alleged to have applied for a passport using another person’s birth certificate. Billalobos eluded arrest in August, 2013, and remains a fugitive.

Jorge Escamilla, of San Jose, Calif., is alleged to have applied for a passport using another person’s birth certificate. Escamilla was arrested in October, 2013, and his case remains in progress. Escamilla’s next scheduled appearance is set for 8:30 a.m. on March 19, 2014 in front of the Honorable Paul Singh Grewal, United States Magistrate Court Judge, in San Jose.

Vernon Eugene Griffith, formerly of San Mateo, Calif., was convicted of possessing a United States passport that he obtained by providing biographical information belonging to a person who had deceased. Griffith was sentenced to one year of probation in November, 2013, and a fine of $5,000.

Jaime Diaz, of Salinas, Calif., is alleged to have applied for a passport using another person’s birth certificate. Diaz was arrested in November, 2013, and his case was procedurally transferred to federal court in Sacramento – the Eastern District of California – for resolution.

Taekyung Lee, of Santa Clara, Calif., was convicted of lying about her name on a passport application. Lee was arrested on July 10, 2013, and pleaded guilty on October 31, 2013. Lee is scheduled to be sentenced on April 10, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. by the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen, United States District Judge, in San Jose.

These defendants are part of more than 250 Bay Area residents who have been charged with false passport related offenses since 2007. The prosecutions are the result of ongoing investigations by the Diplomatic Security Service.

Anyone with information about false or fraudulently issued passports or entry visas, or the whereabouts of the above fugitives, is encouraged to contact the Diplomatic Security Service at (415) 705-1176.

Please note, charges described in this document contain only allegations and, as with all defendants, the defendants in these cases must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.