CBP Officers Intercept Individuals with Fraudulent or Invalid Documents at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport
San Juan, Puerto Rico- Two citizens of the Dominican Republic, appeared late yesterday before US District Court Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin, accused of violations to federal immigration law, during separate incidents.
CBP officers intercepted two individuals that attempted to deceive the authorities with the use of fraudulent means.
Both cases illustrate a recurrent problem in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers encounter individuals using fraudulent documents moving through our Nation's airports.
Jose Francisco Pérez-Fernández and David Antonio Gil-Ovalles, both citizens of the Dominican Republic, were arrested when they attempted to board separate flights to New York.
Mr. Pérez-Fernández presented for inspection to a CBP Officer, a Puerto Rico driver's license and a US Social Security card, claiming to be "Elvin Delgado-Cruz" and the rightful owner of both documents.
The defendant was referred to secondary inspection, and upon further questioning, he admitted his true identity.
Mr. Pérez-Fernández stated he had purchased the documents from an unknown person for $400 U.S. dollars in order to hide the fact that he was illegally present in the United States.
Mr. Pérez-Fernández faces charges for violation to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546; typified as fraudulent use of documents.
Mr. Gil-Ovalles, presented a CBP officer a Puerto Rico Driver's license claiming to be "Jesús Carpio- Lappot", and the rightful owner of both documents.
The subject was referred to secondary inspection where a systems check revealed his true identity and the fact that he was an alien who entered without inspection into the US on or about Aug. 16, 2006, and was deported.
Mr. Gil-Ovalles was accused of violation to Title 8 United States Code, Section 1325; which penalizes entering or attempting to enter the U.S. at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, and eluding examination or inspection by immigration officers.
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.
Assistant United States Attorney Evelyn Canals and Special Assistant U.S Attorney Russell E. Booker III are in charge of the prosecution of these cases.
If convicted, Mr. Pérez-Fernández faces a fine or a sentence of not more than 10 years or both.
If convicted, Mr. Gil-Ovalles faces a fine or a sentence of not more than 6 months 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.