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Press Release

Operation False Haven: Former U.S. Army Sergeant and Convicted Child Molester Sentenced for Naturalization Fraud, Judicially Denaturalized and Ordered Removed From the United States

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – United States Attorney Michael Easley announced that today in federal court, Edgar Daniel Cruz-Magallanes, age 31, a naturalized citizen of the United States, born in Mexico and residing in Wake County, and former U.S. Army Sergeant, was sentenced by United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan to one year of probation following a guilty plea to naturalization fraud. Moreover, Cruz-Magallanes was judicially denaturalized as a United States citizen and ordered removed from the United States.

According to court records, on March 19, 2015, Cruz-Magallanes fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship by making materially false statements under oath regarding his naturalization application.  In response to the question “Were you ever involved in any way with any of the following: . . .  Forcing, or trying to force, someone to have any kind of sexual contact or relations?” he answered “No.”

On June 10, 2020, in the Superior Court of North Carolina in Wake County, Cruz-Magallanes was convicted of three counts of indecent liberties with a child.  Cruz-Magallanes was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of between 16 and 29 months and ordered to register as a sex offender.  According to the indictment to which he pled guilty, Cruz-Magallanes committed the offenses between December 20, 2010 and December 18, 2012.  The victim was 8 years old.  Cruz-Magallanes was not arrested until after he naturalized, thus immigration officials were unaware of his crime before he was approved for naturalization.   

“Cruz-Magallanes is another in a growing number of criminals that thought their heinous acts of the past would not catch up to them, and thankfully he was wrong,” said Special Agent In Charge Ronnie Martinez, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in North Carolina and South Carolina. “Cases like this not only protect the integrity of our immigration system, but it also allows us to remove known predators from our communities.”

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. Agents with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and HSI, assigned to the Document Benefit Fraud Task Force, investigated the case as part of Operation False Haven (OFH), an ongoing initiative designed to aggressively identify and prosecute child molesters and other egregious felons who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sebastian Kielmanovich prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-00368-1FL(3).  Previous media coverage on this case is located here: Click here.

Updated January 13, 2022