LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An illegal alien from Mexico residing in Louisville was charged this week by a federal grand jury with possessing and using counterfeit documents to illegally obtain employment.
These charges were announced by John E. Kuhn Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, and resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Juan Carlos Ortega-Santos, 26, was charged with the following immigration fraud-related counts: two counts of using a false document for purposes of obtaining employment, one count of possessing a counterfeit alien registration card, and one count of possessing a counterfeit Social Security card.
This case arose when Ortega-Santos was arrested June 22 for driving under the influence and killing two juveniles on Taylorsville Road. Ortega-Santos was later charged with murder, assault, wanton endangerment, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, driving without a license, and failure to maintain insurance. Soon after his arrest, it was learned that Ortega-Santos was a Mexican national illegally present in the United States.
Upon learning of Ortega-Santos’ illegal immigration status in the United States, HSI special agents began investigating and found that he had used counterfeit documents to obtain employment in Louisville.
If convicted, Ortega-Santos faces up to 10 years in prison using a false document to obtain employment, and up to five years in prison for the other two counts. ICE placed an immigration detainer on Ortega-Santos, which requests that he be turned over to ICE upon his release from state or federal custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel P. Kinnicutt, Western District of Kentucky, is prosecuting this case.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.