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Document and Benefit Fraud

ICE arrests Brazilian, Kazakhstani who allegedly transported aliens

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the FBI on Wednesday arrested a Brazilian man and his girlfriend from Kazakhstan, along with eight illegal aliens who the couple allegedly transported from New Jersey to New Mexico to obtain valid driver's licenses here.

ICE and FBI special agents on April 30 arrested Cleber Da Silva, 34, and Anastassiya Galiullina, 22, as they left the Department of Motor Vehicles in Albuquerque. Both are in the country illegally; they remain in federal custody. The eight other illegal aliens, all Brazilians, were arrested in the parking lot of an area restaurant and are in ICE custody.

Da Silva and Galiullina are criminally charged with transporting illegal aliens and producing false identification documents, which the aliens attempted to use to obtain valid New Mexico driver's licenses. ICE and FBI special agents began investigating the couple last month after an alert New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles employee reported to authorities an attempt to fraudulently obtain a New Mexico driver's license.

ICE special agents believe Da Silva and Galiullina had transported at least 30 other illegal aliens, mostly Brazilians, from New Jersey to obtain New Mexico driver's licenses. They allegedly charged each person $3,000. In addition to facilitating their cross-country travel, the couple also allegedly produced fraudulent identification and other proof-of-residence documents that the illegal aliens used to obtain valid New Mexico driver's licenses.

Last month, ICE special agents arrested two illegal aliens at the Department of Motor Vehicles after they produced fraudulent documents while applying for a driver's license.

Federal agents also executed a search warrant at Da Silva's apartment, where they seized computers and other electronic media, as well as an extensive collection of fraudulent documents.

"Criminal enterprises that facilitate transporting illegal aliens within the United States, and provide them with fraudulent supporting documents to obtain valid identification documents, pose a significant risk to national security and to public safety," said Roberto G. Medina, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in El Paso. "ICE and its federal and local law enforcement partners will continue to act swiftly against these illicit networks."

This joint investigation also included members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).