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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - December 12, 2006

SIX MEN IN RALEIGH-BASED COUNTERFEIT
IDENTIFY THEFT RING SENTENCED

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that today, in Wilmington, N.C., five men who pled guilty to conspiring to produce and transfer false identification documents, including counterfeit U.S. Permanent Resident cards, U.S. Resident Alien cards, Social Security cards, and state and foreign driver’s licenses, were sentenced by Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox. A sixth member of the criminal organization was sentenced by Judge Fox yesterday.

The six men are FERNANDO FUENTES GRAJALES, a/k/a Santiago Casimiro Lopez, age 29, ALEJANDRO IZALDE-PETRIS, a/k/a Jorge Lopez Lopez, age 32, JUAN JOSE PAZ-MIRELES, a/k/a Roberto Lopez Castro, age 28, EDGAR HUGO CAMPOS-ESCALANTE, age 27, CARLOS OLADE-ESPINDOLA, age 19, and LUIS MANUEL GONZALEZ-MEDINA, age 22. A seventh defendants, FERNANDO MUNOZ-ROSAS, age 33, will be sentenced at a later date. All are citizens of Mexico, and all are in the United States illegally.

Yesterday, GRAJALES was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment; and today, IZALDE-PETRIS was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment;

PAZ-MIRELES was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment; CAMPOS-ESCALANTE was sentenced to 39 months imprisonment; OLADE-ESPINDOLA was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment; and GONZALEZ-MEDINA was sentenced to 8 months. Following the completion of their jail sentences, all seven defendants will be transferred to U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation proceedings.

The evidence presented in court demonstrated that the defendants and their co-conspirators operated a well-organized and sophisticated counterfeit document ring in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. The defendants’ counterfeit document ring used a system of apartments, a fleet of cars, cellular phones, business cards, and sophisticated equipment and materials to accomplish its goals. Hundreds of counterfeit identification documents were created and sold by the defendants.

“Any effort to secure our borders must include aggressive efforts to eliminate sophisticated counterfeit immigration documents,” U. S. Attorney Holding said. “We will continue to use our resources in cases such as this one to attack the types of criminal organizations creating, selling, and using these documents.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Clay C. Wheeler is in charge of the prosecution.

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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