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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Illegal Alien Convicted Of Passport Fraud, False Claim Of U.S. Citizenship And Aggravated Identity Theft

An illegal alien who attempted to obtain a U.S. passport using fraudulent and illegally obtained documents was convicted by a jury today, after a one-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Eduardo Rodriguez-Ayala, age 28, a citizen of Mexico, living in Waterloo, Iowa, was convicted of one count of unlawful possession of an identity document, one count of making false statements in a passport application, two counts of making a false claim of United States citizenship, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The verdict was returned this morning following about ninety minutes of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that on August 10, 2012, Rodriguez-Ayala, claiming to be a U.S. citizen, used a fraudulent Arizona birth certificate in his brother’s name to obtain an Iowa identification card and to register to vote. Three days later, on August 13, 2012, Rodriguez-Ayala used the falsely procured Iowa identification card and the fraudulent birth certificate to apply for a U.S. passport. Rodriguez-Ayala later gave a false name and date of birth to State Department agents investigating the passport application. Rodriguez-Ayala eventually admitted he used false documents and his brother’s identity to apply for the U.S. passport.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Rodriguez-Ayala was ordered detained without bond pending sentencing. Rodriguez-Ayala faces a possible maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment on the unlawful possession of an identity document charge, a possible maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment on the making false statements in a passport application charge, and a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment on each of the false claim of U.S. citizenship charges. Rodriguez-Ayala also faces a mandatory sentence of two years’ imprisonment on each of the aggravated identity theft charges, with at least one such sentence to be served consecutive to any other sentence. Rodriguez faces a fine of $1,500,000, $600 in special assessments, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and was investigated by agents from the United States Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is CR 13-2009.

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Updated February 19, 2015