San Juan, Puerto Rico - Yecenia Ramirtez- Martínez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic appeared late yesterday afternoon before the US District Court Judge Camille Vélez-Rivé facing a criminal complaint for improper entry and eluding examination by immigration officers.
The complaint cited a violation of Title 8 United States Code, section 1325, which penalizes any alien who enters United States and eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers.
On Saturday, Ms. Ramirtez-Martínez was approached by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer during pre-flight inspection, before boarding a of a Jet Blue Airlines flight bound to Boston, Massachusetts.
Ms. Ramirtez-Martínez presented a Puerto Rico driver's license, claiming to be a United States citizen named "Katiria B. Serrano-Lebrón."
CBP Officers referred the subject to secondary inspection as the documents appeared to be altered.
Her fingerprint where queried thru an Immigration Data Base system to verify her identity and any prior records, which revealed no prior records.
Upon further inquiry Ms. Ramirtez- Martínez admitted that her true and that she had purchased the documents for $1,000 to an unidentified person.
She indicated that she had arrived on board a makeshift vessel or "yola" in December 27, 2005 at the western coast of the island.
Assistant United States Attorney Evelyn Canals and is in charge of the prosecution of this case.
The use of fraudulent documents is the modus operandi used by some individuals to achieve mobility and elude detection by law enforcement.
For law enforcement it is critical to detect and identify individuals who attempt to deceive authorities with the use of fraudulent documents and who in most instances impersonating another individual or stealing someone's identity.
"Every day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers are vigilant seeking individuals who are in possession of fraudulent or invalid documents, through continuous training in document examination and interviewing techniques," stated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for CBP in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
If convicted, Ms. a fine or a sentence of not more than 2 years or both.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by 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.