News and Press Releases

U.S. Attorney’s Office Announces the Indictments of Three Individuals Charged with Immigration Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2012

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced the indictments by a grand jury in Harrisburg Wednesday of three individuals charged with immigration fraud in separate cases.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, two individuals were indicted on charges they illegally re-entered the United States following a prior arrest and deportation.

     William Salazar-Rodriguez, age 23, a native and citizen of Guatemala in the United States illegally was charged with being an alien who has previously been arrested and deported from the United States on November 7, 2008, did knowingly and unlawfully reenter the United States.

     Sergio Velasco-Hernandez, age 26, a native and citizen of Mexico in the United States illegally was charged with being and alien who has previously been arrested and deported from the United States on August 22, 2008, did knowingly and unlawfully reenter the United States.

     Both Salazar-Rodriguez and Velasco-Hernandez were located by federal immigration agents in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

     If convicted, both face up to two years of imprisonment and fines of more than $250,000.

     U.S. Attorney Smith also announced the indictment of Abel Peralta-Pena, age 26, a native and citizens of Mexico in the United States illegally, was also charged in a one-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg Wednesday.

     The indictment alleges that on May 5, 2012, Peralta-Pena did knowingly possess, use, or attempt to use a fraudulent social security card during a traffic stop in Adams County, Pennsylvania.

     If convicted, Peralta-Pena faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

     The investigations were conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania State Police. The Cumberland Township Police Department also assisted in the investigation of Peralta-Pena.

     Prosecution of the cases is being handled by Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian G. McDonnell.

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An Indictment or Information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the Grand Jury and/or United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged Defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or until the defendant has pled guilty to the charges.

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