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Press Release

Federal Judge Revokes U.S. Citizenship Of Man Charged With Concealing His Criminal History

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced today that U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. revoked the U.S. citizenship of a man charged with concealing his criminal history on his naturalization application.  Nick Annan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas joins U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.

Wilson Rene Cagua-Anzules, 34, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of making false and misleading statements during the application process to become a United States citizen.  Yesterday, Judge Cogburn sentenced Cagua-Anzules to a year of probation stemming from that conviction and granted the government’s motion to revoke the defendant’s American citizenship.  The defendant was also ordered to return to the government his certificate of naturalization, his American passport, his voting card and any other documents evidencing American citizenship.   The Court also ordered that Cagua-Anzules must leave the United States voluntarily on or before Friday, April 8, 2016, or otherwise be arrested by immigration agents.

According to the sentencing hearing and court documents filed in the case, Cagua-Anzules was born in Ecuador in 1982, and entered the United States in 1999 as a lawful permanent resident.  In June 2010, Cagua-Anzules filed an application for naturalization, and answered “No” on the application form’s question, “Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?”  In February 2011, Cagua-Anzules’ naturalization application was approved, following an oral interview with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer.  Cagua-Anzules received his certificate of naturalization in March 2011. 

According to court records, on or about February 15, 2012, Cagua-Anzules pleaded guilty in Mecklenburg County Superior Court to one count of taking indecent liberties with a child and received a sentence of 15 to 18 months in prison.  Court records show that in his state court proceedings, Cagua-Anzules admitted that he had committed this crime in August 2010.  Court records indicate that the criminal act occurred during Cagua-Anzules’ naturalization process, but the defendant failed to reveal this material information both on his naturalization application form and during his interview with a USCIS officer. 

 “Today, a federal judge stripped the U.S. citizenship of a man who did not deserve such privilege,” said U.S. Attorney Rose.  “Cagua-Anzules violated our immigration laws and compromised the integrity of our naturalization proceedings.  The United States has always been a welcoming country to honest, law-abiding foreign nationals in search of freedom, prosperity and the pursuit of the American dream.  But make no mistake that we will prosecute those who try to cheat their way into an American citizenship.  Liars and cheats need not apply,” Rose added.

The investigation was handled by ICE/HSI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte was in charge of the prosecutions.

Updated March 30, 2016