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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Mexican Man Convicted of Fraud Regarding an Identification Document

Gulfport, Miss. – A Mexican citizen pled guilty to the federal felony offense of fraud regarding a visa, permit, or other immigration document.

U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca of the Southern District of Mississippi, Special Agent in Charge David Denton of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans, and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Jackson Field Office made the announcement. 

According to court records, Benito Moreno-Bernal, 30, who had been living in Colorado, was arrested on January 26, 2021, at a residence in Gulfport by members of the FBI Southeast Mississippi Safe Streets Taskforce on a State of Colorado arrest warrant.  The FBI requested assistance from Homeland Security Investigations in Gulfport regarding suspected fraudulent documents that Moreno-Bernal had in his possession.  The documents, both of which were imprinted with Moreno-Bernal’s name, were a purported U.S. Social Security Administration Card and a Permanent Resident Identification Card which also bore Moreno-Bernal’s photograph. 

Further investigation revealed that the number on the Permanent Resident Identification Card was a valid alien registration number assigned to a female, and the number on the Social Security Card belonged to another person other than Moreno-Bernal.  Computerized record queries also revealed that Benito Moreno-Bernal had been previously removed twice from the United States under the alias of Alejandro Moreno-Bernal.

Moreno-Bernal is scheduled to be sentenced on November 30, 2022. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  Moreno-Bernal also faces Department of Homeland Security removal proceedings to remove him from the United States to his home nation of Mexico. 

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and law enforcement officials in Colorado.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris is the prosecutor for the case.                                                                           

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Updated August 30, 2022