Alien Arrested by San Juan CBP Pretending to be a U.S. Citizen
San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Enforcement Officers on Friday arrested a citizen of the Dominican Republic attempting to enter Puerto Rico using a fraudulently obtained U.S. passport.
Jose Francisco Cruz-Taveras appeared today before the U.S. District Court in San Juan, Puerto Rico facing federal charges for false statement in application and use of passport, a felony.
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers remain vigilant as they review entry documents to identify and apprehend those who use fraudulent or invalid documents in an attempt to enter and remain the U.S.," said Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the USVI. "CBP officers train regularly to become experts in document examination and interviewing techniques."
CBP officers arrested Cruz-Taveras after he requested admission as a U.S. citizen at the Pan American dock in San Juan after his arrival onboard the M/V Caribbean Fantasy ferry from the Dominican Republic. The U.S. passport was under the name of "Hermes Castro-Coris."
During secondary inspection Mr. Cruz-Taveras admitted that he had obtained the U.S. passport fraudulently in 2007 and revealed his true name.
If convicted Mr. Cruz-Taveras faces a fine and not more than 10 years of imprisonment, or both.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.