Brothers Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Manufacturing Fraudulent Identification Documents for Illegal Aliens

October 8, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, sentenced Hilario Hernandez-Romero, age 27, and his brother, Margarito Hernandez-Romero, age 31, both Mexican nationals living in Hyattsville, Maryland, today to four years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, after they pleaded guilty to identification document fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to supply fraudulent identification documents to illegal aliens.

The guilty plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Homeland Security Investigations; Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the United States Secret Service – Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Irvine of the United States Secret Service – Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Kathryn Jones of the Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General; Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; John Kuo, Administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration - Investigation and Security Services Division; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.

“The production and distribution of fraudulent identity and employment documents is a serious problem that poses a threat to our homeland security,” said William Winter, Special Agent in Charge of ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Baltimore. “Today's sentencing clearly demonstrates our commitment to thwarting identity and document fraud in Maryland and we will continue to diligently identify, arrest, and bring to justice those involved in these illegal schemes.”

According to Hilaro and Margarito Hernandez-Romero’s guilty pleas, from October, 2005, through on or about November 17, 2009, the brothers were involved with other individuals in the distribution of fraudulent identification documents to individuals illegally present in the United States. The fraudulent identification documents, which were designed to look like legitimate immigration documents and social security cards, were illegally manufactured by the brothers. Orders for these documents were taken by other individuals who also distributed the documents. The illegal document mill was run out of the home shared by the brothers, who were both in the United States illegally.

In addition, the brothers manufactured and distributed a variety of other identification documents, including driver’s licenses and commercial driver’s licenses and work identifications for a variety of employers, including the U.S. government and telecommunications companies. Sometimes the brothers would manufacture multiple driver’s licenses with the same picture, but using multiple sets of personal information, including names, dates of birth, and addresses, knowing that these identification documents were being used by the individuals pictured on the identifications to pose as the individuals whose personal information was used to create these fraudulent documents.

During the course of the conduct, the brothers manufactured and distributed thousands of fraudulent identification documents.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ICE-HSI; the U.S. Secret Service;U.S. Department of Transportation, OIG; Montgomery County Police Department 4th District Special Assignment Team; Maryland State Police; and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Tamera L. Fine, who prosecuted the case.

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