News and Press Releases


THURSDAY - October 9, 2008


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court spanning two days, October 7, 2008, and October 9, 2008, four more defendants in the investigative case entitled Operation Red Eye were sentenced before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III. CARLOS CABALLERO-FRANCO, 24 who pled guilty on April 7, 2008, to conspiracy to produce and transfer false identification documents, received 24 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised; CLEMENTE PEDRO MATA-ESQUIVAL, 32, pled on May 6, 2008, to the conspiracy charge and improper entry by alien, and received 15 months’ imprisonment followed by three years supervised release; LUIS JUAREZ-DIAZ, 32, also pled on April 7, 2008, to the conspiracy charge and re-entry by removed alien, and received 42 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release; and CLAUDIO DANIEL SANDOVAL-GOMEZ, 27, who pled on April 7, 2008, to the conspiracy charge and improper entry by alien, received 33 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. Additionally, JUAREZ-DIAZ had a fine imposed of $5,000 while SANDOVAL-GOMEZ, MATA-ESQUIVAL, and CABALLERO-FRANCO had a fine of $1,000 imposed.

The defendants, all illegal aliens residing in and around the Raleigh-Durham area, were charged in a 20-count Criminal Indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury on February 13, 2008. Between August, 2006, and January 10, 2008, the defendants, along with 10 other co-conspirators, participated in a scheme to manufacture and sell counterfeit identification documents, including drivers’ licenses, social security cards, and permanent resident cards.

The runners would then send the photographs with relevant information to the printer to print the ID. The pictures and information were either sent to the printer’s phone as multimedia messages or saved onto a SD card and manually given to the printer. The printer would then give the runner the requested IDs along with the runner’s business card in a small envelope.

MATA-ESQUIVAL, who acted as a runner, solicited customers by using business cards that contained almost no identifying information. The runners would then take pictures of the customers, and gather the information the customer wanted on the card. The runners also collected the money: $40-50 for a Social Security Card and $200 for a driver’s license or other ID card.

CABALLERO-FRANCO and SANDOVAL-GOMEZ were printers in the organization. As printers they collected orders from the runners, printed counterfeit IDs from another location and collected the money. They also led the runners in their cell. Prior to his arrest, SANDOVAL-GOMEZ was promoted to a manager in the conspiracy.

LUIS JUAREZ-DIAZ was a leader in the organization. JUAREZ-DIAZ was an accountant for the national conspiracy.

This extensive and intensive investigation has culminated in bringing to justice a ring of criminals responsible for producing over 1400 false identification documents. Crimes like this undermine our immigration system as well as threaten our national security and its proper management of our economy,” stated United States Attorney George Holding.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney David Bragdon served as prosecutor for the government.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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