Justin E. Herdman, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that Ricardo Labrador-Ortiz, age 46, was sentenced to 31-months imprisonment after pleading guilty to one count of misuse of a social security number and one count of aggravated identity theft on January 17, 2020. Renzo Bienvenido Pimentel-Arias, age 49, was sentenced to 54-months imprisonment after pleading guilty to two counts of false claim of citizenship to obtain a federal or state benefit and two counts of aggravated identity theft on January 17, 2020.
According to court documents, Ricardo Labrador-Ortiz and another man, Guillermo Alexander Cruz-Guerrero, age 38, conspired together to use fraudulent identification documents in order to obtain Ohio driver licenses and purchase high-end vehicles and watercraft.
On July 18, 2019, Cruz-Guerrero entered a powersports store in Elyria, Ohio, and attempted to purchase two jetskis using fraudulent identification, phony employment information, and requested a $40,000 loan application. Cruz-Guerrero did not intend to leave a down payment and was adamant about leaving the store with the jetskis as soon as possible. A credit check of the submitted identification and paperwork came back as positive for fraudulent activity. Store employees notified Cruz-Guerrero that the bank was closed and that they were unable to process the loan application and advised him to return the following day. Soon after, Elyria Police were notified of the fraudulent activity and his expected return. Cruz-Guerrero did return the following day and attempted to complete the purchase of the jetskis. Immediately after completing all the necessary paperwork to process the loan and take possession of the jetskis, Cruz-Guerrero was arrested by Elyria Police.
Police were advised of a second individual who had accompanied Cruz-Guerrero in a vehicle outside the store. Police performed a traffic stop of this vehicle and identified the man as Ricardo Labrador-Ortiz. Elyria Police took Labrador-Ortiz and Cruz-Guerrero into custody as part of a fraud investigation.
During a search of both individuals and the vehicle, detectives seized multiple items, including fraudulent driver licenses and numerous sets of keys that appeared to be for storage containers/facilities. Detectives then executed a search warrant on two storage units tied to the seized keys. Inside they discovered printing equipment and other fraudulent documents including identification cards, driver’s licenses, power of attorney forms, bank and credit card information, residency forms and vehicle keys matching models of known stolen vehicles.
On August 08, 2019, Elyria police were notified that the storage unit's lessee was returning to claim his belongings. Police subsequently arrested the individual and later identified him as Renzo Bienvenido Pimentel-Arias.
A background investigation conducted by the FBI and Border Patrol into Renzo Bienvenido Pimentel-Arias revealed that Pimentel-Arias had received a fraudulent identification from Cruz-Guerrero, no immigration history into the United States, and had a long history of using fake identification documents in multiple states.
On August 28, 2019, Ricardo Labrador-Ortiz was indicted on charges of knowingly using another person’s social security number for the purpose of obtaining an Ohio State driver’s license.
On September 26, 2019, Guillermo Alexander Cruz-Guerrero was indicted on two counts of false claim of citizenship to obtain a federal or state benefit and two counts of aggravated identity theft and is awaiting trial.
On October 17, 2019, Renzo Bienvenido Pimentel-Arias was indicted on two counts of false claim of citizenship to obtain a federal or state benefit and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
The investigation preceding this indictment was conducted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Detroit Sector Intelligence Unit, FBI, HSI, Elyria Police Department, Ramey Sector Intelligence Unit, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Ohio National Guard Counterdrug Task Force and the New England State Police Information Network. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad J. Beeson and Jason W. White.