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Document and Benefit Fraud

3 individuals arrested for manufacturing and possession of fraudulent government documents

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents along with the Somerset County Prosecutors Office (SCPO) and Raritan Borough Police Department arrested three men Monday for manufacturing and possessing fraudulent government documents.

In February, HSI special agents informed SCPO detectives that Michael Arias, 31, of Raritan, N.J., was allegedly manufacturing fraudulent government documents.

In April, HSI special agents, along with SCPO detectives, conducted an undercover operation at Arias' residence for the purpose of purchasing fraudulent U.S. government documents. A subsequent meeting occurred in July. During the undercover meeting, a fraudulent U.S. Permanent Resident Card, a fraudulent U.S. Social Security card and a fraudulent Department of Homeland Security Employment Authorization card were purchased from Arias.

On July 30, special agents and officers executed a search warrant at Arias' residence. The search resulted in the seizure of a computer, printer, laminator, numerous government identification cards and other items that are utilized in the manufacturing of fraudulent government documents. During the execution of the search warrant, Michael Delgado Sibaja, 25, of Raritan, N.J., and Fernando Valencia Alvarado, 42, of Somerville, N.J., were present and found to be in possession of fraudulent government documents.

Arias was arrested and charged with manufacturing false government documents, trafficking in personal identification information, and forgery. Sibaja and Alvarado were both arrested and charged with possession of fraudulent government documents.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.