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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dominican Republic Native Charged With Impersonating Another

PHILADELPHIA - Jonathan Melendez, a/k/a “Malvin Vasquez-Valerio,” a/k/a “JELM,” 30, a native of the Dominican Republic, was charged in a five-count indictment with three counts of false personation of citizenship, aggravated identity theft and misuse of another person’s Social Security number, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  According to the indictment, between December 26, 2012 and October 17, 2013, during the course of a drug case involving heroin distribution, Melendez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, falsely claimed to be a United States citizen. 

It is further alleged that Melendez falsely represented that a certain Social Security account number was assigned to him, when, in fact, such Social Security account number was not the number assigned to him.  Melendez is further charged with having possessed and used a means of identification of another person, specifically the Social Security number and the birth certificate of “JELM,” in connection with the false personation of United States citizenship.  Melendez was convicted in the heroin distribution case and sentenced to 36 months in prison. 

If convicted of these charges, Melendez faces a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison, including a mandatory minimum term of two years for aggravated identity theft, three years of supervised release, a fine of $1.25 million and a special assessment of $500.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Violent Gang Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Division, and the Philadelphia Police Department.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph T. Labrum, III.

An Indictment or Information is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Click here to view indictment.

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Updated December 15, 2014