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Document and Benefit Fraud

Lead defendant in fraudulent identification document scheme sentenced to nearly 4 years in federal prison

DALLAS - The lead defendant in a fraudulent document scheme was sentenced on Monday to 44 months in federal prison. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Just weeks before his federal trial was to begin, Ruben Gomez-Luevano, 36, a Mexican citizen living in McKinney, Texas, pleaded guilty in March 2010 to one count of conspiracy to transfer stolen and unlawfully issued identification documents. After serving his sentence, he will be referred to ICE and be placed into deportation proceedings.

Gomez-Luevano's two co-defendants, Reyes David Martinez 36, of Dallas, and Alvaro Ivan Adame, 41, of Wichita Falls, Texas, pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and have been sentenced. Martinez pleaded guilty in April 2009 to one count of conspiracy to transfer unlawfully issued identification documents and was sentenced in July 2009 to 14 months in prison. Likewise, Adame pleaded guilty in December 2009 to one count of accessory after the fact to the crime of improper entry by an alien and was sentenced the same day to five years probation. At the time of his offense, Adame was a lieutenant with the Texas DPS and worked as a supervisor in its Driver License Division at offices on Northwest Highway in Dallas and in Wichita Falls, Texas. As part of his plea agreement with the government, Adame resigned from Texas DPS, and he permanently relinquished his Texas peace officer's license, precluding him from ever obtaining that license again in Texas.

With full knowledge of Gomez-Luevano's illegal status in the United States, Adame attempted to employ him as an "off the books" confidential informant to assist with an investigation into the use of fraudulent documents at Texas DPS offices; but DPS refused to approve him. Adame assisted Gomez-Luevano in avoiding apprehension and deportation, and also received money from Gomez-Luevano for helping the aliens that were paying Gomez-Luevano to obtain Texas driver's licenses and identification cards to clear fines they owed to DPS.

According to documents filed in the case, Gomez-Luevano admitted that from 2003 until his arrest in January 2009, he conspired to transfer driver's licenses and identification cards knowing they were produced without lawful authority. Martinez became involved in the conspiracy in 2008 when he began working for Gomez-Luevano. Martinez and Gomez-Luevano transported aliens from Texas to New Mexico, and helped them obtain fraudulent New Mexico residency documents. The aliens then presented the documents to New Mexico's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and received driver's licenses.

Martinez and Gomez-Luevano then transported the aliens back to the Dallas area where they presented the New Mexico licenses or identification cards to the Texas DPS, including the office managed by DPS Lt. Adame. Then they received a Texas driver's licenses or identification cards in the mail. The aliens paid Gomez-Luevano between $1500 and $2500 to receive their Texas licenses. Sometimes, Gomez-Luevano even allowed the aliens to use his vehicle to take the driving test. The district court found that Gomez-Luevano assisted others in fraudulently procuring more than 200 Texas driver's licenses and identification cards during the conspiracy.

The case was investigated by ICE's Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force with the cooperation of the Texas DPS. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cara Foos Pierce and Errin Martin, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

For more information, visit www.ice.gov.