Vero Beach Couple Sentenced for Selling Fraudulent Immigration and Identification Documents to Undercover Agents
Yesterday, a Vero Beach couple was sentenced for their roles in making and selling homemade immigration and identification documents, by U.S. District Court Judge Robin L. Rosenberg in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), made the announcement.
Leynadier Rodriguez Velasquez, 45, of Vero Beach, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, followed by 2 years’ supervised release. He also faces deportation proceedings upon release. Vanesa Fonseca, 27, of Vero Beach, was sentenced to 12 months’ house arrest and two years’ probation. Rodriguez Velasquez previously pled guilty to possession with the intent to use unlawfully and to transfer unlawfully, five or more false identification documents, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(3); and immigration document fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546(a). Fonseca previously pled guilty to possession with the intent to use unlawfully and to transfer unlawfully, five or more false identification documents, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(3).
According to court records, including stipulated facts supporting the guilty pleas, in December 2014, Rodriguez arranged to sell an undercover agent five sets of fraudulent immigration documents, each with a Legal Permanent Resident and Social Security card, for a total of ten documents for $1,500 in Vero Beach. The documents were later delivered by Fonseca. In April 2016, an undercover agent purchased four sets of documents, each with a Legal Permanent Resident and a Social Security card, for a total of eight documents for $1,500, directly from Rodriguez in Vero Beach. Pursuant to the investigation, on June 16, 2016, HSI agents executed a federal search warrant at the residence of Rodriguez and Fonseca. An HSI Computer Forensic Agent located over 400 false identification documents on the computer hard drives and cellular phone of Rodriguez, including Social Security, Legal Permanent Resident and Florida identification cards, some of which dated back to 2011. The documents included some of the items that had been sold to the undercover agent. Additionally, law enforcement discovered Rodriguez’s computer, printer, laminating plastic and the machine used to produce the fraudulent documents. Agents also found papers with driver’s licenses and a fraudulent Social Security card with Rodriguez’s name and photo.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, Florida Alcohol, Tobacco, and Business Regulation and United States Customs and Border Protection for their work on this case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.