Illegal Alien Sentenced to 3 Years for Stealing Government Checks from the Mail
Will be Deported After Serving his Sentence in Federal Prison
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Elmin Uliser-Reyes, age 22, yesterday to three years in prison followed by two years of supervised release for receiving stolen property, aggravated identity theft and illegal reentry into the United States, in connection with stealing government checks from mailboxes and cashing the checks using fake identity documents, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his guilty plea, from at least February to March 2006 Uliser-Reyes and his associates followed postal carriers on their postal routes. After the carriers deposited the mail in apartment panel mailboxes, the conspirators broke into the mailboxes and stole U.S. treasury checks and other government-issued checks. The checks represented the payment of tax returns and other federal government benefits. Uliser-Reyes and his associates cashed the checks at liquor and convenience stores throughout Maryland using fraudulent identity documents. Additionally, on some occasions, the conspirators altered the payment amount to reflect a greater amount.
For example, in February 2006 Uliser-Reyes cashed a stolen check at a liquor store in Baltimore using a fake employment authorization card bearing the check payee’s name, but Uliser-Reyes’s picture. He was identified with respect to cashing at least seven other stolen checks, including a check cashed at a Frederick, Maryland liquor store.
Uliser-Reyes was arrested in June 2006 by St. Mary’s County Police after attempting to cash a stolen treasury check using a fake identity card at a liquor store in St. Mary’s County. He was convicted of state theft offenses relating to the June 2006 incident, and deported from the United States in November 2006. Federal investigators arrested him in Maryland in December 2007 after he re-entered the United States.
Judge Quarles determined at sentencing that at least $70,000 in losses was foreseeable to Uliser-Reyes resulting from his participation in the scheme. Uliser-Reyes will be deported after serving his three year sentence in federal prison.
In a related case, Jose Matires Carranza-Gonzales, age 27, pleaded guilty on March 26, 2008 to his participation in this scheme. He faces a maximum sentence for receipt of stolen property of 10 years in prison, and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, at his sentencing scheduled for June 13, 2008.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Secret Service; the Treasury Inspector General Office For Tax Administration; the U.S. Department of the Treasury/Financial Management Service; the Comptroller of Maryland, Revenue Administration Division; the Social Security Inspector General Office and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative work in this and the Carranza-Gonzales case. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Hanlon, who prosecuted the case.