SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers arrested Tuesday an alien man using fraudulent documents prior to boarding a domestic flight at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport bound to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Yamirle Radhames Stephens- Encarnacion, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, made an initial appearance Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin, for charges of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546, for fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents.
“Aliens illegally present in the United States as well as criminals seek to use Puerto Rico documents to elude detection from federal authorities,” indicated Edwin Cruz, San Juan Area Port Director. “Our officers are trained to detect fraudulent documents and bring impostors to justice.”
During pre-boarding inspections authorized by federal law, Mr Stephens-Encarnacion claimed to be a citizen of the United States by the name of “Luis Michael Rijos,” providing a Puerto Rico driver’s license, a social security card and a Puerto Rico birth certificate.
CBP Officers referred Mr. Stephens-Encarnacion to further examination, as the documents he presented did not appear to be genuine. Further inspection revealed his identity, to which the defendant indicated purchasing the documents for approximately $1,000 to be able to live and work in the United States.
Assistant US Attorney Evelyn Canals in charge of the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Puerto Rico.
If convicted, Mr. Stephens-Encarnacion faces imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or a fine, or both.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.
CBP’s mission is to facilitate travel while maintaining the highest standards of security for those who live here and for those who come to visit. On a typical day last year, CBP officers processed more than 1 million travelers arriving airports, seaports or border crossings.
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