FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 17, 2013
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District Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison
For Producing and Selling False Identification Documents
Defendant is Among Seven People to Plead Guilty
Following Federal Investigation of Ring in Northwest Washington
WASHINGTON – Rocio Sanchez-Flores, also known as “Amador,” or “Taliban,” has been sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a ring that produced and sold false identification documents in the Columbia Heights area of Northwest Washington.
The sentencing, which took place Oct. 16, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Scot Rittenberg, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington.
Sanchez-Flores, 30, was among seven defendants indicted in October 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, following an investigation into sales of fraudulent identity documents near the Columbia Heights Metrorail station at 14th and Irving Streets NW. Like Sanchez-Flores, the other six defendants pled guilty to charges in the case.
Sanchez-Flores, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in March 2013 to a conspiracy charge. He was sentenced by the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan. As part of his plea agreement, Sanchez-Flores agreed to the forfeiture of $5,000.
Others pleading guilty to conspiracy include Jorge Castaneda, 39, also known as “Francisco Mendoza” and “George,” of Washington, D.C.; Victor Bedillo, 42, of Silver Spring, Md.; Juan Guarneros, also known as “Lobo,” 54, of Washington, D.C.; Javier Lopez, also known as “Pumba,” 46, of Washington, D.C.; Juan Lopez-Medina, also known as “Juanito,” 44, of Washington, D.C. , and Carlos Armando Rivas-Rivas, also known as “Paisa,” 42, of Silver Spring, Md. Except for Guarneros, all also pled guilty to a charge of transfer of fraudulent identity documents. Guarneros pled guilty to a charge of production of fraudulent documents.
Castaneda was sentenced in September 2013 to a 27-month prison term. The remaining five defendants were sentenced in June 2013. Bedillo was sentenced to nine months of incarceration. Guarneros was sentenced to 10 months of incarceration. Javier Lopez was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Lopez-Medina was sentenced to 10 months of incarceration, and Rivas-Rivas was sentenced to 405 days of incarceration.
All of the defendants also acknowledged that, because they are not U.S. citizens, they consent to removal from the country upon completion of their sentences.
According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendants as well as the government, members of the group participated in the ring from in or around March 2010 until October 2012, when authorities made arrests. The defendants produced and sold false documents, including permanent resident cards, employment authorization cards, Social Security cards, and State licenses and identification cards. Depending on the type and quality of fraudulent identity documents, the defendants charged customers between $40 and $200 per transaction.
Potential customers typically provided their photographs, names, dates of birth and the kinds of fraudulent documents they wanted to purchase. Documents were manufactured at Sanchez-Flores’s home in the 1500 block of Ogden Street NW.
Jorge Castaneda also was charged in a second case involving a separate group of individuals who sold fraudulent identity documents in the Columbia Heights area. Authorities arrested seven other members of that conspiracy, which was led by Maria Campos-Sanchez, 30, also known as “Betty.” Campos-Sanchez received a 24-month prison term, and the other defendants’ sentences were nine months of incarceration or higher.
The cases were investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. field office. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frederick Yette, T. Patrick Martin and Mona Sahaf, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.13-342