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Press Release

Alien Sentenced to Active Prison Time for Unlawful Voting in the 2016 General Election

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that GUADALUPE ESPINOSA-PENA, age 61, of Mexico, residing in Wake County, North Carolina, was sentenced to one month imprisonment and one year supervised release by United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan after a guilty plea to illegal voting by an alien.

According to court records, ESPINOSA-PENA is a lawful permanent resident whose application for United States citizenship had been denied. ESPINOSA-PENA attempted to register to vote in North Carolina previously, but was informed he could not register as he was not a United States citizen. Thereafter, ESPINOSA-PENA nonetheless completed a voter registration with an election official’s aid and registered to vote.  The election official advised ESPINOSA-PENA that “if he wanted his voice to be heard, he needed to vote.”  As detailed in the Indictment, ESPINOSA-PENA voted in the General Election of 2016 in Wake County, North Carolina held in part for the purpose of electing a candidate for the office of President of the United States.

The case was investigated under the framework of the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) in the Eastern District of North Carolina led by Homeland Security Investigations, among other agencies. The investigation as to voting fraud is ongoing.

Updated April 15, 2019