Four Mexican Nationals Indicted for Fake Documents Conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that four Mexican nationals have been indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to produce and distribute counterfeit identification documents to illegal aliens.
Eriberto Moises Medina-Aranda, 39, of Rayville, Mo., his half-brother, Cesar Mujica-Aranda, 24, of Liberty, Mo., and Bernardino Bautista-Hernandez, 31, of Kansas City, Mo., and Ulises Montiel-Lazcano, 34, of Merriam, Kan., all of whom are citizens of Mexico, were charged in a six-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday, March 21, 2014. The indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of the defendants.
The federal indictment alleges that Medina-Aranda, Mujica-Aranda, Bautista-Hernandez and Montiel-Lazcano participated in a conspiracy to produce false government identification documents between Sept. 1, 2013, and Feb. 21, 2014. They are also charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to produce counterfeit alien registration receipt cards (also known as lawful permanent resident cards) and other documents that are used as evidence of authorized stay or employment in the United States (including Social Security cards).
In addition to the conspiracy, Medina-Aranda and Mujica-Aranda are charged together in one count of possessing implements to create identification documents with the intent to produce false identification documents.
Medina-Aranda is also charged with one count of being an illegal alien in possession of firearms and ammunition and one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. Medina-Aranda, who has a prior felony conviction and is illegally in the United States, allegedly possessed a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifle, a Marlin Firearms rifle and ammunition in February 2014. He is also charged with one count of illegally reentering the United States after having been deported and after having been convicted of a felony.
The federal indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government the illicit proceeds derived from the alleged conspiracy as well as items that were seized by law enforcement officers, including $8,156 seized from Montiel-Lazcano at the time of his arrest, $1,840 seized from Mujica-Aranda’s residence, five computer towers, printers, four cameras, cell phones, digital media storage devices, and the rifles and ammunition.
Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; the Kansas Department of Revenue, Office of Special Investigations; the Missouri Department of Revenue, Compliance & Investigations Bureau; the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Clay County, Mo., Prosecuting Attorney.