Niagara Falls, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations has announced the arrest of a Nicaraguan citizen on charges of false statements and misuse of a passport.
On March 14, CBP officers encountered 33-year-old Roxanne Ariza as a pedestrian at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Ariza claimed to be a citizen of Mexico and presented a valid Mexican passport as proof of citizenship. She advised CBP officers that she was in the process of becoming a landed Canadian immigrant and that her intent was to immediately return to Canada. As part of the Canadian immigration process, the intending immigrant must depart Canada and return to process the immigrant paperwork.
Record checks by CBP officers revealed that Ariza was encountered in February 2007 by United States officials at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. The record indicated that Ariza had attempted to obtain a United States entry visa by presenting a fraudulent Mexican election card as proof of citizenship.
During the interview of Ariza at the Rainbow Bridge, she admitted that she was not a citizen of Mexico but rather a citizen of Nicaragua. She further admitted that she fraudulently obtained her Mexican passport by purchasing a Mexican birth certificate bearing her true name. Ariza believed it would be easier to obtain entry into Canada as a Mexican Citizen.
Ariza was arrested by CBP officers and charged with false statements and misuse of a passport and is currently being detained pending prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York.
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.