San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers arrested Sunday in Puerto Rico the last individual wanted as part of a large fraudulent identification scheme disrupted last January by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
Victor Manuel Rivera-Ramirez, 49, a citizen of the Dominican Republic applied for admission as a legal permanent resident arriving at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport on a Jet Blue airlines flight from Santo Domingo.
The inspecting CBP Officer referred Mr. Rivera-Ramirez to secondary inspection where database review confirmed an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued by the U.S. District Court in San Juan for charges related to fraud related activity with identification documents and inducing aliens to enter illegally into the United States.
Mr. Rivera-Ramirez was the last of a group of individuals indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 29 charged within a conspiracy to commit identification fraud.
According to the indictment, from at least April 2009 to December 2011, conspirators in 15 states and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, trafficked the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens, corresponding Social Security cards, Puerto Rico birth certificates and other identification documents to undocumented aliens and others residing in the United States.
HSI Special Agents assumed custody of the defendant who will make an initial hearing today before the US District Court in San Juan.
"Customs and Border Protection is an agency committed to securing our borders while at the same time cooperating with other law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of US laws. CBP officers are always vigilant to detect individuals that have broken our laws and attempt to defeat our justice system." stated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands
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.