News and Press Releases

Jose Hector Gonzalez Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on June 18, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JOSE HECTOR GONZALEZ, a 29-year-old citizen of Mexico, appeared for sentencing. GONZALEZ was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 30 months
  • Special Assessment: $400

GONZALEZ was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to making a false statement in application for a U.S. passport; false claim to U.S. citizenship; false representation of a social security number; and aggravated identity theft.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On December 10, 2010, GONZALEZ applied for a passport at the U.S. Post Office in Great Falls. He presented two forms of identification: a California Certificate of Birth and a Temporary Montana Identification Card. Both forms of identification reflected GONZALEZ's name, however, the identification did not reflect GONZALEZ's correct date of birth. GONZALEZ also submitted the passport application with a Social Security number which belongs to another person. The passport application was submitted for processing, but was flagged for possible fraudulent activity.

Agents requested verification of the Social Security number submitted on the passport application. The Social Security number submitted by GONZALEZ is actually registered to a male who lives in California. The California Certification of Birth GONZALEZ submitted to the post office belongs to this same man in California. After a further immigration investigation, agents found GONZALEZ was born in Mexico and is not a United States citizen.

On July 19, 2011, GONZALEZ applied for a State of Montana driver's license. On the application, GONZALEZ again gave the same date of birth and Social Security number he previously presented at the U.S. Post Office in Great Falls. He also stated he was a U.S. citizen and was born in California. GONZALEZ provided the same California birth certificate as a primary identification document, as well as a Social Security card as a second identification document. GONZALEZ received a Montana driver's license after providing this false information.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that GONZALEZ will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, GONZALEZ does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the State Department, the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, and Homeland Security Investigations.



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