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Document and Benefit Fraud
08/09/2012

Shasta County brothers indicted for producing phony immigration documents

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Two Shasta County brothers were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of producing and selling false identification and immigration documents following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Sergio Alonso Madrigal-Felix, 32, of Redding, Calif., and Mario Alfonso Madrigal-Felix, 36, of Anderson, Calif., are also accused of possessing document making equipment and materials. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hales and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele M. Beckwith.

According to court documents, the brothers sold counterfeit document sets for $150 each that included an alien registration card or "green card" and a Social Security card with a false number. An undercover HSI special agent purchased three sets on March 22 for three fictitious people. Four more sets were purchased from the defendants on two other occasions. A search warrant was issued and agents seized document-making equipment, including a laptop, printer and laminator.

"Targeting schemes like this that enable individuals who aren't in this country lawfully to obtain legitimate identity documents is a top enforcement priority for ICE HSI," said Jason Graham, resident agent in charge for HSI Redding. "Those who engage in this type of fraud are putting the security of our communities and even our country at risk. Schemes like this could potentially be exploited by dangerous criminals and others seeking to obscure their identities and mask their motives."

The defendants have been in custody since their arrest and initial court appearance July 27. They are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan Aug. 10. If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.