BOSTON - A Salvadoran man, now living in Everett, was charged today with making false statements on immigration forms and committing perjury in order to remain in the United States.
Inocente Orlando Montano, 69, was indicted for perjury and making false statements on an immigration application. Montano faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of the three counts of making false statements on an immigration application and a maximum of five years in prison on each of the two counts of perjury. All charges carry a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count, as well as deportation after serving the sentence the court imposes.
The government alleges that Montano, a citizen of El Salvador, received military and weapons training and served as an officer in the military of El Salvador for 30 years, including the period of El Salvador’s civil war, from 1979 through 1991. Montano also allegedly served as El Salvador’s Vice-Minister for Public Security from 1989 to 1992.
Several reports published in the early 1990s documented human rights violations committed by the Salvadoran military during the civil war, including torture, arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killings and disappearances. Such reports allege that certain human rights abuses were committed by troops directly under Montano’s command. In 1994, Montano retired from the military, and at some point thereafter left El Salvador and eventually came to Massachusetts.
According to documents previously submitted to the court, a United Nations Truth Commission Report found that there was evidence that Montano colluded with other Salvadoran military officers to issue an order that resulted in the murder of six Jesuit priests, an employee of the priests, and the employee’s daughter.
It is alleged that in or about 2002, Montano was present in the U.S. and, on several occasions thereafter, applied for and received Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a benefit the U.S. government extends to certain foreign nationals, permitting them to remain in the U.S. if they are unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, the temporary effects of an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. To be eligible for TPS, a foreign national must submit to the Department of Homeland Security an application which requires, the applicant to reveal, among other things, if he has ever received military training or served in the military.
It is alleged that in 2007, 2008, and 2010 Montano submitted TPS applications in which he falsely stated that he had entered the United States on June 30, 2000, which was a date before the deadline to apply for TPS. The indictment alleges that, in fact, Montano entered the United States in July 2001, after the TPS deadline. In addition, the indictment alleges that, in his 2008 and 2010 TPS applications, Montano falsely denied that he had ever “received any type of military, paramilitary, or weapons training.”
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John A. Capin and Donald L. Cabell of Ortiz’s Antiterrorism and National Security Unit.