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Document and Benefit Fraud
08/03/2012

Illegal alien sentenced to 7 years for role in false document ring

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Mexican national convicted for his role in a large-scale counterfeit document ring has been sentenced to seven years in prison following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California Department of Motor vehicles.

Javier Hernandez-Lopez, 35, of Sacramento and Mexico City, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. for manufacturing false identification documents and for being a deported alien found in the United States.

According to court documents, Hernandez-Lopez had been deported from the United States after serving a prison sentence for voluntary manslaughter. Following that deportation, he returned illegally to the United States and participated in a large-scale Sacramento-area conspiracy to manufacture fraudulent documents.

Hernandez-Lopez and his co-conspirators collected biographical information and photographs from individuals and business owners who wanted false identification document, such as alien registration receipt cards (green cards), driver's licenses, and Social Security cards. This information was either hand delivered or transmitted by a cellphone to the person who manufactured the false documents. The defendants then delivered the documents to the purchaser in exchange for cash.

"As this sentence makes clear, those who willfully violate our nation's immigration laws and engage in illegal activities that pose a potential security threat face serious consequences," said Daniel Lane, assistant special agent in charge for the HSI Sacramento. "The counterfeit documents produced by these operations can be used by criminals and others to mask their identities and obscure their motives. For that reason, HSI will continue to work closely with its local and federal law enforcement partners to target those who put our communities at risk simply to satisfy their own greed."

HSI agents working undercover purchased documents from Hernandez-Lopez and his co-conspirators. During the execution of search warrants, agents found computers, specialized software, high-end printers, card readers, holograms and other sophisticated equipment used to manufacture fraudulent identification documents.

Judge Burrell previously sentenced the three other defendants involved in the conspiracy: Juan Hernandez-Lopez, 39, Luis Eduardo Torres-Hernandez, 25, and Alejandro Bielma-Ortiz, 40, received sentences of 33 months, 19 months and 24 months respectively.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Anderson prosecuted the case.

For more information, visit www.ice.gov.