BALTIMORE – Special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested two men in Maryland Wednesday morning after both were indicted on document fraud related charges.
Antonio Abraham Cruz-Cruz, 26, a Mexican citizen residing in Adelphi, Md., and Henry Ramos Agustin, 37, a Guatemalan citizen residing in Cambridge, Md., were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges relating to the sale and transfer of fraudulent identification documents. The superseding indictment was returned on March 20 and unsealed Wednesday upon the arrest of the defendants.
"Document fraud poses a threat to national security and puts the security of our communities at risk because it creates a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States," said HSI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge William Winter. "This investigation resulted in the arrest and indictment of an alleged document mill leader and co-conspirator operating out of Maryland. Homeland Security Investigations will move aggressively to investigate and bring to justice those who potentially compromise the integrity of America's legal immigration system."
The 13-count indictment alleges that from Oct. 17, 2012 through Feb. 19, Cruz-Cruz and Agustin conspired to manufacture and transfer fraudulent identification documents. According to the indictment, Cruz-Cruz manufactured documents, including permanent resident cards and social security cards, which he sold to customers, and which he provided to Agustin for sale to customers.
The indictment alleges that the defendants solicited and took orders for false identification documents from customers who provided the defendants with photographs and personal information. Agustin allegedly provided the photographs and personal information to Cruz-Cruz, who manufactured the requested fake documents, which he then delivered to Agustin in exchange for a portion of the sales price. The indictment alleges that Cruz-Cruz sold such manufactured fake documents to his own customers as well.
The defendants face up to 15 years in prison for the conspiracy and for each count of transfer of false identification documents; 10 years in prison for each count of fraud and misuse of immigration documents; five years in prison for each count of social security number fraud and a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for aggravated identity theft. An initial appearance and arraignment was held Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Cruz-Cruz and Agustin are detained pending trial.
The case was investigated by HSI Baltimore and HSI Ocean City with the assistance of the Anne Arundel County Police Department and Baltimore County Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine for the District of Maryland.