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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 2, 2018

Bolivian Man Pleads Guilty to Obtaining U.S. Citizenship by Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Bolivian national pleaded guilty today to obtaining his naturalized citizenship through fraud by failing to disclose his arrest and other criminal conduct committed prior to becoming a United States citizen.

According to court documents, Pablo Marin Llanos Martinez, 36, appeared for a naturalization ceremony in November 2008 at the federal courthouse in Alexandria. As part of his application process, Llanos Martinez was required to disclose to the government any criminal conduct or arrests. Llanos Martinez falsely responded that he had no such criminal activity. He then took an Oath of Allegiance to become a United States citizen.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, nearly two months prior to the ceremony, in September 2008, Llanos Martinez committed destruction of property and grand larceny offenses in Arlington. In late September 2008, Llanos Martinez had also been arrested in Arlington for a separate incident involving attempted grand larceny, grand larceny, and possession of burglary tools. He was later convicted in July 2009 of these felony offenses. Had Llanos Martinez admitted the truth concerning his criminal conduct and arrest, he would not have been allowed to become a United States citizen just two months later. 

Llanos Martinez pleaded guilty to unlawful procurement of naturalization and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison as well as automatic revocation of his U.S. citizenship when sentenced on September 21. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Patrick J. Lechleitner, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton accepted the verdict. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Raizza Ty and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Walutes, Jr. are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-216.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated July 2, 2018