The case of ID theft involved an illegal alien from Mexico, who led an organization that trafficked in stolen Puerto Rican identification documents to be used by illegal aliens from Latin American countries. The suspect was sentenced on Wednesday to serve six years and nine months in federal prison, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Puerto Ricans are American citizens and enjoy all the benefits of citizenship including travel throughout the United States and its territories unimpeded. However, a large number of Latinos from countries such as Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, who are illegal aliens, seek to acquire proof that they are Puerto Rican, according to former New York police detective and airlines security director Manny Cardoza.
The 40-year-old Mexican national, Enrique Rogelio Mendez-Solis, a/k/a Rogelio Quero-Mendez, a/k/a Roberto Marquez-Prada, originally lived in Seymour, Indiana after entering the U.S. illegally. He was sentenced to serve 81 months in prison for his leading role in trafficking the identities and corresponding identity documents of Puerto Ricans who are born U.S. citizens.
U.S. District Judge Juan M. Pérez-Giménez in the District of Puerto Rico also ordered the defendant to serve three years of supervised release and to forfeit $422,793 in illegal proceeds. However some believe the sentence showed a complete disregard for the seriousness of the crime. “If the culprit in the case was an American citizen, does anyone believe he or she wouldn’t get a long-stretch in federal prison?” asks former police officer Iris Aquino.
“This is a case no one wants reported, at least no one who is part of the liberal-left orthodoxy. The fact that American citizens who are legally born Americans are being victimized by having their identities stolen doesn’t seem to bother President Barack Obama and the rest of his administration. It certainly doesn’t concern the news media who appear to have become the Democratic Party’s public relations firm,” said an angry Puerto Rican cop-turned-attorney, Maria Garcia-DeJesus. “You would think that U.S. Congressman Jose Serrano, who represents the Bronx, New York, and is a Puerto Rican would seek justice for his constituents, who vote legally, but that’s not happening,” she added.
According to court documents, illegal aliens had entered Caguas, Puerto Rico, and illegally obtained Puerto Rican identities and ID documents. Co-conspirators located in a number of U.S. cities offered illegal aliens Social Security cards and corresponding birth certificates from Puerto Rico charging between $700 and $2,500 per set of fraudulent IDs.
“The identity brokers in the United States ordered the identity documents from the document suppliers in Savarona, on behalf of their customers, by making coded telephone calls. The conspirators were charged with using text messages, money transfer services and express, priority or regular U.S. mail to complete their illicit transactions,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said .
Court documents also reveal that some of the illegal alien conspirators who were involved in ID trafficking also assumed Puerto Rican identities themselves and used those IDs in the trafficking operation. Their customers would obtain the illegal IDs and at times assumed the identity of actual Puerto Ricans who are born U.S. citizens. They also used their own phony IDs in order to obtain additional identification especially the treasured “legitimate driver’s licenses” from various states.
Some of Mendez-Solis’ minions sold documents to customers who used them to perpetrate financial fraud and to illegally obtain another treasured ID, a legitimate U.S. passport. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Mendez-Solis’ criminal organization fraudulently obtained and illegally sold about 1,500 identities.
Mendez-Solis had an expansive operation with “identity brokers” in cities in Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Alabama, and Rhode Island. About 53 alleged members Mendez-Solis’ criminal enterprise were charged for their roles in the identity trafficking scheme.
“What should anger all Americans – white, black and Latino – is the fact that the U.S. government winks at illegal aliens stealing the identities of citizens sometimes going as far as obtaining credit cards and bank loans. Think about it: A guy who runs a large-scale criminal enterprise gets a measly six-and-a-half years, which means he’ll be out in about three,” said political strategist Michael Baker.