Cornejo Worker Arrested at McConnell
Pleads Guilty to Document Fraud
WICHITA – A concrete worker employed by Cornejo & Sons, Inc., who was arrested in March for trying to gain entry to McConnell Air Force Base using a false identity, has pleaded guilty to using fraudulent identification documents, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Monday. A second person also pleaded guilty to document fraud in a separate case.
The Cornejo employee, Jose Luis Sanchez-Martinez, 34, a Mexican national unlawfully in the United States who has worked for Cornejo since 2003, was arrested March 3 by Air Force security personnel, who determined Sanchez-Martinez was using a false identity when he reported to the base to do contract work for Cornejo. Agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) responded and took custody of Sanchez-Martinez.
Sanchez-Martinez pleaded guilty Monday in federal court here to document fraud before U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten, who set sentencing in the case for Aug. 4. A plea agreement in the case calls for a sentence of 12 months in federal prison, to be followed by deportation. Once deported, Sanchez-Martinez is banned for life from the United States.
In the second case, Efrain Rolando Pomaquiza, 41, an Ecuadoran national unlawfully present in the United States, pleaded guilty Monday to document fraud and faces an agreed sentence of 12 months in federal prison followed by deportation. Pomaquiza was arrested in Wichita March 2 while trying to obtain a Kansas commercial drivers license using a false Puerto Rican identity. That case was investigated by the Kansas Department of Revenue, HSI and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General.
“I continue to be surprised that foreign nationals using false documents would try to gain access to U.S. military installations,” Grissom said. “Those who do will be caught and prosecuted. But I am even more surprised that employers are not more careful about who they hire and where they assign them to work. We are working hard to hold employees and employers responsible who engage in unlawful employment practices.”
Cornejo and Sons, Inc., is one of several employers who do contract work on site at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. Within the past year five employees from four different companies have been prosecuted who were caught at McConnell. Investigations related to falsely-document aliens gaining access to the base are ongoing, Grissom said.