U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
July 7, 2011
DOMINICAN NATIONAL INDICTED FOR AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT, PASSPORT FRAUD, ILLEGAL REENTRY AFTER BEING DEPORTED
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Dominican national previously deported after having been convicted for identity theft and passport fraud has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence on charges of illegal reentry, passport fraud, aggravated identity theft, false representation of a social security number and false claim of U.S. citizenship. Jose Medrano Baez, a/k/a Roberto Velez, a/k/a Carlos Mohler-Vega, 28, has been held in federal custody since September 2010, when he was arrested after being injured during a shooting in Lowell, Mass. A federal warrant for his arrest was issued in Providence in May 2010.
In October 2007, Baez was deported after having been convicted of identity theft in the District of Massachusetts. Baez was convicted in federal court in Massachusetts of using a stolen identity to apply for passports on three occasions.
The eight count indictment returned Wednesday was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.
According to court documents, information developed by the U.S. State Department and forwarded for investigation to the Providence office of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in April 2010 revealed that the defendant allegedly had applied for a U.S. passport at a Providence post office, and two Rhode Island driver’s licenses and a Rhode Island identification card at two registry offices, allegedly using the identities of two men from Puerto Rico. In May 2010, ICE agents obtained a federal arrest warrant for Baez. However, he was not able to be located and a fugitive warrant was issued.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie S. Browne.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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