News and Press Releases

Two Men Plead Guilty To Counterfeiting Charges

March 28, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ Two Mexican nationals pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing and passing counterfeit currency, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Alejandro Vargas Ceron, 32, of Brooklyn, New York, and Israel Leyva Sanchez, 24, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Ceron and Sanchez were observed passing counterfeit $100 currency on Oct. 1, 2010, at a Macy's department store in Washington, Pa. A search of the vehicle in which the men rode uncovered approximately$38,700 in counterfeit $100 notes.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for Aug. 1, 2011. The law provides for a total sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.  Both defendants remain in federal custody pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Secret Service and the North Franklin Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Alejandro Vargas Ceron and Israel Leyva Sanchez.

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