TWO ILLEGAL ALIENS SENTENCED IN SCHEME TO CREATE AND SELL FRAUDULENT IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Henry Ramos- Agustin, age 37, a Guatemalan citizen illegally residing in Cambridge, Maryland, today to 42 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release for conspiring to sell fraudulent identification documents and aggravated identity theft. Judge Bennett sentenced Antonio Abraham Cruz-Cruz, age 28, a Mexican citizen illegally residing in Adelphi, Maryland, yesterday to four years in prison followed by one year of supervised release for the same offenses. Judge Bennett further imposed a special condition that both defendants, upon completion of their sentences, be surrendered to immigration authorities for deportation proceedings.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“Document fraud poses a threat to national security and puts the security of our communities at risk because it creates a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States,” said HSI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge William Winter. “This investigation resulted in the arrest and indictment of a document mill leader and co-conspirator operating out of Maryland. Homeland Security Investigations will move aggressively to investigate and bring to justice those who potentially compromise the integrity of America's legal immigration system.”
According to their pleas and a stipulation at Cruz-Cruz’s sentencing hearing, from October 2011 through March, 2013, Cruz-Cruz manufactured at least 2,000 permanent resident cards, social security cards and driver’s licenses, which he offered for sale, or had Ramos-Agustin and others sell, to individuals illegally present in the United States. These documents were offered for sale through word of mouth and the distribution of business cards which appeared to be offering other services, such as painting or automobile repairs, but were actually used for obtaining customers for the scheme. Orders were generally received by email or text message which included a picture and the biographical information the customer wanted on the cards. Salesmen such as Ramos-Agustin provided the photographs and personal information to Cruz-Cruz, who manufactured the requested fake documents. The completed documents were returned to Ramos-Agustin or other document vendors who then delivered them to the customer and obtained payment.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised HSI Baltimore and HSI Resident Agent in Charge Ocean City for their work in the investigation and thanked the Anne Arundel County Police Department and Baltimore County Police Department for their assistance in the case. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Tamera L. Fine, who prosecuted the case.