News and Press Releases

"Nicaraguan National Residing In The Tri-Cities Sentenced For Immigration And Passport Fraud Crimes"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2012

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Cristian Chavez-Martinez, a 29 year old Nicaraguan national who has been living in the Tri-Cities area, was sentenced to 87 months in prison following his pleas of guilty to being an alien in the United States after having previously been deported and another charge of making false statements in an application for a passport. During the sentencing hearing Senior U.S. District Judge Edward noted Chavez-Martinez's lengthy criminal history as part of the justification for imposing the 87 month prison term. The Judge also imposed a 36 month term of supervised release following Chavez-Martinez's release from Federal prison, with the primary condition prohibiting his return to the United States without first obtaining permission of the Attorney General.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, Chavez-Martinez had previously been deported from the United States to Nicaragua in December 2009. After living in Nicaragua for a year and a half, he attempted to return to the United States via Mexico. En route, he was arrested by Mexican authorities for immigration-related offenses. While incarcerated in Mexico, Chavez-Martinez falsely claimed to Mexican authorities and representatives from the U.S. Consulate that he was his brother, who is a U.S. citizen. Chavez-Martinez provided authorities documentation, including his brother's birth certificate and a Washington State identification card in the name of his brother, but with Chavez-Martinez's photograph attached. Using his brother's identity documents, Chavez-Martinez falsely obtained a U.S. passport. He was then deported from Mexico to the United States. Once in the United States, he attempted to use the fraudulently obtained passport to obtain a Nevada identification card in his brother's name. He was subsequently located by law enforcement in Kennewick, Washington.

Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said, "This case involved Chavez-Martinez defrauding immigration authorities in both Mexico and the United States. The United States Attorney's Office is committed to prosecuting those who use false and fraudulent documents to hide their lengthy criminal histories and illegally obtain entry into the United States."

This investigation was conducted by the Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. State Department. This case was prosecuted by Alison Gregoire and Mary K. Dimke, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.

12-CR-06017-EFS

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