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Document and Benefit Fraud
05/18/2010

Illegal alien charged with making false statements

NEW ORLEANS - Eliazar Sanchez Castro, 24 and illegally present in the United States, was charged in a criminal complaint on May 17 for attempting to enter a secure area with a fraudulent ID card, following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 16, Castro, a laborer employed by Industrial Scaffolding, returned from working offshore and departed the secure area of C Port-1 to retrieve his vehicle. When Castro attempted to reenter the secure area to pick up his tools and baggage, a port security guard determined that Castro's transportation work identification credential, or TWIC card, which is required for entry to the secure area, was fraudulent. Castro was arrested and made an initial appearance on May 17, at which time, the defendant was ordered detained pending a detention hearing.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of six months, a fine of $100,000 and one year of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

"Targeting counterfeit document schemes like this is an enforcement priority for ICE," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in New Orleans. "Those who provide phony documents are putting the security of our communities and even our country at risk. Documents like these could be exploited by dangerous criminals and even potential terrorists to obscure their identities and cover their tracks."

It should be noted that the complaint is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Gregory M. Kennedy.