News and Press Releases

two guatemalan nationals indicted;
more than 100 illegal aliens used false iD to obtain
driver's licenses in st. joseph

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Guatemalan nationals were indicted by a federal grand jury today for their roles in a conspiracy to provide false identity documents so that more than 100 illegal immigrants could fraudulently obtain driver’s and non-driver’s licenses from the Missouri Department of Revenue license office in St. Joseph, Mo.

Domingo Ajanel-Castro, 33, a citizen of Guatemala residing in St. Joseph, and Pedro Pablo-Solis, 28, a citizen of Guatemala residing in Liberal, Kan., were charged in an 18-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces an earlier indictment that charged only Ajanel-Castro.

Today’s indictment alleges that Ajanel-Castro and Pablo-Solis, who are illegally in the United States, participated in a conspiracy from July 1, 2010, to Jan. 10, 2012, to sell fraudulent birth certificates and Social Security cards in the names of others.  These birth certificates and Social Security cards would then be used by illegal aliens to obtain Missouri driver’s or non-driver’s licenses, the indictment alleges, all of which could then be used by the illegal aliens to remain unlawfully in the United States, to unlawfully obtain employment and for other unlawful purposes.

According to today’s indictment, illegal aliens would travel from across the United States to obtain licenses at the St. Joseph license office by using the unlawfully obtained birth certificates and Social Security cards. It is estimated that well over 100 Missouri licenses have been unlawfully issued to illegal aliens as part of this conspiracy.

Ajanel-Castro allegedly received identification document sets from Pablo-Solis, who obtained and sold state-issued birth certificates and corresponding Social Security cards in matching document sets. Ajanel-Castro then sold the document sets to the illegal aliens, the indictment says, for between $500 and $950 for the document sets and the licenses.

The illegal aliens were then charged an additional fee of approximately $100 to be escorted to the license office in St. Joseph. Individuals accompanied illegal aliens into the St. Joseph license office under the guise of being translators, the indictment says, in order to assist them with obtaining a Missouri license that was in the name of another person who was listed on unlawfully obtained birth certificates and Social Security cards. These individuals would assist illegal aliens in preparing for potential questions from the license office employees, such as learning the names on the birth certificates, the names of the parents on the birth certificates, the dates of birth and the Social Security numbers, as well as practicing signing the name similar to the signature that appeared on the Social Security card. Individuals also assist the illegal aliens who did not live in Missouri by providing them with a Missouri residential address to use in order to obtain the license, the indictment says.

In addition to the conspiracy, Ajanel-Castro and Pablo-Solis are charged together in three counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of Social Security fraud and two counts of illegally transferring a person’s identity documents to another person.

Ajanel-Castro is also charged with four more counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of illegally producing identification documents, one count of possessing false documents, one count of making a false statement on a federal document and one count of illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.

Ketchmark cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.

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