News and Press Releases

Men Admit Purchasing Fraudulent Documents to Obtain Employment

September 11, 2009

Two Mexican citizens pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Possessing Fraudulent Immigration Documents. The men were arrested last week. The men were employed as Crew Foreman for one of the largest drywall companies in Washington State. ROGELIO LOPEZ-TIZNADO, 39, of Bothell, Washington, pleaded guilty this morning. GABRIEL PEREZ-ZAMBRANO, 37, of Edmonds, Washington pleaded guilty late yesterday. The charge carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Under the terms of the plea agreement the government will recommend a sentence of time served with both men to be deported following their prison term. The men will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones in December 2009.

According to the criminal complaints 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.

The complaint charging 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.

Should either man return to the United States following deportation they would face ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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.

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