SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport arrested last Monday night a wanted Mexican citizen sought for 21 counts of forgery and fraud by authorities in Northampton, Pennsylvania.
The criminal prosecution case is investigated by the CBP Criminal Enforcement Unit leading to the arrest for multiple criminal felony violations.
Ignacio Patiño-Martinez, 45, appeared today before US District Court Magistrate Judge, Camille Velez Rive, facing federal charges for misuse of a passport, false statement in application and use of passport, and false claim to US citizenship.
The defendant arrived Monday night from Panama on board a COPA Airlines flight and presented himself for CBP Officer inspection, a U.S. passport under the name of Jose Raul Alvarado.
CBP Officers referred Mr. Martinez for secondary inspection where law enforcement databases revealed a identity theft warrant for his arrest.
The defendant admitted to CBP officers to his true identity and citizenship and to having paid for a Puerto Rico birth certificate to obtain a US Passport in 2002.
Mr. Patiño-Martinez is sough by the Northhampton Police Department in Pennsylvania and several other agencies including the Diplomatic Security Service of the US Department of State.
"CBP officers are always vigilant to detect individuals that have broken our laws and attempt to defeat our justice system." said Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Assistant US Attorney Evelyn Canals will prosecute the case.
If convicted Mr. Patino-Martinez faces imprisonment for not more than 10 years, 3 years of supervised release and a fine up to $250,000.00.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty before a court of law.
CBP Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. The CBP officer's primary mission is anti-terrorism. Everyday they screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. Their mission also includes carrying out traditional border-related responsibilities, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing trade laws, enforcing immigration laws, protecting the nation's food supply and protecting U.S. agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
During FY2011, CBP officers arrested 345 people wanted for crimes, including murder, rape, assault, and robbery and denied entry to more than 2,937 inadmissible individuals attempting to enter the U.S. through an air or sea port of entry in our area.
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.