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Press Release

Illegal Alien Who Stole Identity for Employment in the U.S. Sentenced to Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Arellano-Almontes had a prior felony conviction for possession of methamphetamine.

A man from Mexico who re-entered the United States illegally and stole another’s identity for purposes of employment was sentenced January 27, 2021 to two years in federal prison.

Heriberto Arellano-Almontes, age 57, from Mexico, received the prison term after a July 22, 2020, guilty plea to aggravated identity theft.

In a plea agreement, Arellano-Almontes admitted that he is an alien citizen of Mexico.  Arellano-Almontes was previously removed from the United States to Mexico on or about May 5, 2004. On August 17, 2019, Arellano-Almontes was arrested by law enforcement in Crawford County, Iowa, for Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated.  Arellano-Almontes was found to be employed at Midwest Industries, Inc., in Ida Grove, Iowa, utilizing another’s identity where he filed an I-9 Employment Eligibility Form and W-4 Tax Withholding Form with Midwest Industries on April 11, 2016.  He also presented a State of Missouri Identification Card and a social security card under the same identity. 

On October 2, 2019, Arellano-Almontes was found illegally residing in Crawford County, Iowa.  Arellano-Almontes also has a prior felony conviction for possession of methamphetamine from 2003 out of the District Court for Colfax County, Nebraska.

Arellano-Almontes was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  He was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.  He also serve a one-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Arellano-Almontes 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 Kevin Fletcher and Ron Timmons, and investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-4021.

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Updated January 29, 2021