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Press Release

Illegal Alien Sentenced to Federal Prison for Document Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Used Fraudulent Documents to Apply for Jobs and a State ID after Illegally Entering the United States

A Guatemalan man who unlawfully used fraudulent identification documents was sentenced April 17, 2018, to four months in federal prison.

Cesar Mendez-Chavez, age 26, a citizen of Guatemala illegally present in the United States and residing in Tama, Iowa, received the prison term after a February 12, 2018, guilty plea to three counts of unlawful use of identification documents.

Evidence in the case showed that on June 9, 2016, and June 13, 2016, Mendez-Chavez, an illegal alien, used a fraudulent social security card when completing employment forms to obtain jobs using an alias name in Tama and Northwood, Iowa.  Mendez-Chavez also used the social security card on February 12, 2012, to obtain employment in Postville, Iowa.  The social security account number on the card used by Mendez-Chavez was not his.  Mendez-Chavez falsely claimed to be a United States citizen on the employment forms. 

On January 26, 2018, Mendez-Chavez used a different social security card in applying for a State of Iowa Identification Card using a different alias name in Tama, Iowa.  The social security account number and name on the social security card used by Mendez-Chavez belonged to a real United States citizen.  Mendez-Chavez also used a fraudulent birth certificate in that alias name as proof of identity.  These documents were seized by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

On January 31, 2018, Mendez-Chavez was arrested by immigration officers at his place of employment in Tama, Iowa, where he worked under an alias.

Mendez-Chavez was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Mendez-Chavez was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Mendez-Chavez is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations, and the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Court file information at

The case file number is 18-CR-04-LRR.

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Updated April 18, 2018