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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2006

FIVE INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED
FOR PASSPORT FRAUD

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that on April 19, 2006, a federal grand jury returned indictments against five individuals following separate criminal investigations relating to passport fraud. MARCUS LEE JONES, age 50, of Williamston, N. C., LEOCADIO GALLARDO VELASCO, age 30, a native of Mexico and residing in Mount Olive, N. C., JUAN JOSE SANCHEZ FLORES, age 38, a native of Mexico and currently residing in Bailey, N. C., PA MODOU SONKO, age 30, and BANGALLY DABO, age 32, both natives of The Gambia, and residing in Raleigh, N. C. were each indicted for making false statements and submitting false documents in their U. S. passport applications, including providing fake and fictitious North Carolina and Texas birth certificates as proof of United States citizenship.

Resident Agent in Charge Greg Sherman of the Diplomatic Security Service commented that "The Diplomatic Security Service will continue to aggressively investigate passport and visa fraud in the State of North Carolina, and our partnership with the U.S. Attorney's office in Raleigh is vital to our efforts to help secure America's borders."

United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney stated, “The Department of Justice remains committed to supporting the Diplomatic Security Service in prosecuting these fraud cases. It's crucial to our security and safety to protect the integrity of the U. S. passport process.”

Investigation of these cases was conducted by the U. S. Department of State. Assistant U. S. Attorney Kelly M. Perry is representing the United States.

 

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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