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Document and Benefit Fraud
07/13/2017

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Honduran man sentenced for stealing US citizen’s identity to get Louisiana ID

NEW ORLEANS – A Honduran man illegally present in the United States was sentenced to time served, one year of supervised release and a special assessment of $100 on a felony charge of illegal use of a Social Security number Wednesday for fraudulently using a U.S. citizen’s identity to obtain a Louisiana identity card. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case.

Javier Canizalez-Hernandez, 40, a citizen of Honduras, previously admitted during his guilty plea to using the Social Security number that was not assigned to him to obtain a Louisiana Identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Houma. U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance of the Eastern District of Louisiana handed down the sentence.

“This case is an example of someone using fraudulent documents to acquire legal identification documents to deceive employers and law enforcement,” said Scott Sutterfield, acting field office director for ERO New Orleans. “These cases have real consequences. The Social Security number used in this case belongs to a U.S. citizen whose information had been compromised.”

According to court documents, Canizalez was encountered by ERO officers during an investigation into another individual on January 31. ERO officers questioned Canizalez who initially told them he was from Puerto Rico and produced the Louisiana identification card. After further investigation, Canizalez admitted to being from Honduras and having entered the country illegally.

On February 2, Canizalez was questioned again about the Louisiana ID card and told ERO officers he had purchased a Puerto Rican birth certificate and Social Security card from an unknown male for $1,500 almost a decade ago. Canizalez also stated he had used those documents to obtain the Louisiana ID card from the DMV office in Houma.

Canizalez is currently in ICE custody awaiting a hearing by a federal immigration judge.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/13/2017