SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Juan Office of Field Operations officers arrested Thursday a citizen of the Dominican Republic, traveling to New York, using an altered immigration stamp inside the passport, as proof of legal presence.
Francisco Herrera-Del Orden will appear today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez for charges in violation of Title 18 USC 1546(a), fraudulent use of visas and other documents.
“CBP officers seek to detect and apprehend persons who try to use fraudulent documents to elude detection and break our laws,” stated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mr. Herrera-Del Orden was found at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport before boarding a Jet Blue airlines flight destined to New York City. He presented CBP officers a passport from the Dominican Republic, containing a Citizenship and Immigration Service ADIT Stamp as proof of authorized presence in the United States.
An Alien Documentary Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) Stamp is provided to a Legal Permanent Resident as provisional evidence of his or her resident status, when the “Green Card” is lost, stolen, to be replaced or was never received.
The passenger was escorted to secondary inspection, where examination of the stamp revealed that the ADIT Stamp had been altered.
Mr. Herrera-Del Orden admitted that the dates in the stamp were altered in order to travel and seek employment in the United States
CBP field operations officers presented the case to Assistant US Attorney John A. Mathews who accepted the case for prosecution.
If convicted, Mr. Herrera-Del Orden could be fined, imprisoned not more than 10 years or both.
All defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 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.