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Press Release

Illegal Alien Charged With Passport Fraud And Illegal Possession Of Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a citizen of the Dominican Republic illegally residing in Hazleton has been charged with attempting to obtain a U.S. passport by false statements and with illegally possessing a firearm.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Jhonny Melenciano Marte, age 34, of Hazleton, was charged in a Criminal Information filed today in the United States District Court in Scranton.  The Criminal Information was filed pursuant to a Plea Agreement which is subject to the approval of the court.

The case was investigated by the United States Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE).  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Hinkley.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated April 30, 2015