TWO MEXICAN NATIONALS SENTENCED IN FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS SCHEME
Men Will Be Deported and Face Significant Prison Time if They Return
Two Mexican citizens were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to time served and deportation for Possessing Fraudulent Immigration Documents. The men were arrested in September 2009. The men were employed as crew foremen for one of the largest drywall companies in Washington State. ROGELIO LOPEZ-TIZNADO, 39, of Bothell, Washington, pleaded guilty September 11, 2009, and GABRIEL PEREZ-ZAMBRANO, 37, of Edmonds, Washington pleaded guilty September 10, 2009. LOPEZ-TIZNADO was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones told him, “You are now on the radar of the federal government.... If you come back and are arrested you will serve a significant amount of time in prison.”
According to documents filed in the case, the men have been the subject of an ongoing investigation using confidential informants. The investigation revealed that PEREZ-ZAMBRANO has been in the U.S. illegally for about ten years. The complaint alleges that PEREZ-ZAMBRANO recruited other illegal aliens from his hometown in Mexico to come to Washington and work for his employer, Ketchikan Drywall Services, Inc. of Woodinville, Washington. PEREZ-ZAMBRANO allegedly arranged for the illegal workers to travel to Washington, obtain false documents, and then housed them at his home in Edmonds. PEREZ-ZAMBRANO charged them each as much as $250 a month for their rooms.
Documents filed regarding LOPEZ-TIZNADO reveals that he was recruited to come to the U.S. by PEREZ-ZAMBRANO and has lived here for eight years. LOPEZ-TIZNADO allegedly purchased homes in Everett and Bothell where illegal aliens who had been recruited to come to the U.S. to work with LOPEZ-TIZNADO were housed. Between 2005 and the present, the men were paid cash by LOPEZ-TIZNADO for each day they worked in the drywall business at either Ketchikan Drywall Services or DJ Drywall job sites. The men paid rent to live in the basement of LOPEZ-TIZNADO’s home ranging from $200-$380 per month. Both houses have since been foreclosed by the banks following multiple low documentation mortgages they obtained when fraudulently claiming U.S. legal residence.
Should either man return to the United States following deportation they would face up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told PEREZ-ZAMBRANO, “You must remain in Mexico and make a life for your family there.... What you did was wrong and were you to return you face a sanction far more serious.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Don Reno. Mr. Reno is an attorney with ICE who is specially designated to prosecute immigration cases in federal court.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.