Defendant Arrested, $70,000 Pickup Seized
In Document Fraud and Identity Theft Case
WICHITA, KAN. – A Mexican national posing as his United States citizen cousin has been indicted and his $70,000 pickup truck seized, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced today.
Mario Alberto Esparza-Rodriguez, 39, resides in Overland Park, Kan., but he is from Chihuahua, Mexico, and has no lawful status in the U.S. Esparza-Rodriguez was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Topeka on multiple document fraud and identity theft counts, including fraudulently obtaining a U. S. passport.
According to court records, Esparza-Rodriguez is employed by Century Roofing, which operates in the Kansas City area. The indictment alleges that Esparza used the identity of a cousin who was born in New Mexico to obtain identification documents, including a Social Security card and multiple Kansas drivers licenses, including a commercial license. It also alleges aggravated identity theft in the obtaining of the identification documents.
The indictment also alleges wire fraud and identity theft in the purchase of the pickup truck, which is described as a 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 bought for $71,328. There are no liens against the truck, according to indictment, which the defendant allegedly purchased using his cousin’s identity. It also was licensed and registered in Kansas in the cousin’s name.
Esparza-Rodriguez was indicted for misuse of government documents, including a U.S. passport, fraudulent production of identity documents and six counts of aggravated identity theft. The document fraud counts carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, the wire fraud count 20 years, and each count of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two years in federal prison. There is no parole from a federal prison sentence. The indictment also seeks criminal forfeiture of the $70,000 pickup.
The case was investigated by the Kansas Department of Revenue and ICE Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson.
As in any criminal case, a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.