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March 11, 2021Las Vegas, NV, United StatesDocument and Benefit Fraud

Belizean national and aggravated felon convicted of using fraudulent immigration and social security cards at Nevada DMV

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A federal jury convicted a Belize citizen March 11, for using a fraudulent United States Permanent Resident Card and a fake Social Security card (listing a Social Security number not assigned to him) while applying for a "Real ID" identification card at a Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles office in Henderson, Nevada.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Compliance Enforcement Division (CED).

“As this defendant in this case learned, knowingly and willingly using counterfeit immigration and social security cards to apply for benefits is a federal crime,” said Francisco Burrola, special agent in charge for the HSI office in Las Vegas. “There are lawful ways for individuals to obtain identity documents but those who try to circumvent those laws will be held accountable.”

“DMV’s officers highly value our collaboration with Homeland Security Investigations in our ensuring the integrity of government-issued identity documents and prosecuting offenders, ” added JD Decker, chief of the Nevada DMV CED, a state of Nevada law enforcement agency that investigates cases of document fraud and identity theft that involve the use of DMV processes.

After a four-day jury trial, Rickon Amyon Wade, aka “Ricky Wade,” 35, was found guilty of one count of Fraud and Misuse of Visas, Permits and Documents, and one count of Misuse of a Social Security Number. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on Oct. 1, 2020, Wade applied for a Nevada Real ID identification card at a DMV office in Henderson. As part of the application process, Wade filled out a form and provided a DMV Field Technician with a United States Permanent Resident Card and Social Security card as identification. The Field Technician could not validate and verify the identification cards Wade presented. Wade had obtained the counterfeit immigration and Social Security cards from a street vendor in California.

An investigation revealed that Wade traveled from Belize to Mexico and entered the United States at a Texas Port of Entry in Jan. 2000, as a temporary visitor for pleasure or tourism. He was authorized to stay in the United States until July 2000. Because Wade did not have a pending application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to remain in the United States after July 2000, his continued stay was unlawful.

Wade’s previous felony history includes convictions for threatening to harm or kill another person, having sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger and failure to register as a sex offender.

Wade faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, supervised release and a monetary fine. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 16, before U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Oliva and Kimberly Frayn with the United States Attorney’s Office District of Nevada, are prosecuting the case.