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Man charged and arrested for impersonating federal ICE agent, engaging in immigration services scam

RALEIGH, N.C. — A criminal complaint unsealed today in federal court charges a Raleigh man, 68, with falsely assuming and pretending to be an officer acting under the authority of the United States and, in that capacity, demanding and obtaining money. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Raleigh and ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility.

Tommie Rand Pierce, 68, was arrested by ICE HSI special agents in Ogden, Utah.

Pierce has been charged with failing to disclose, concealing, and covering up the fact that he, in exchange for money, prepared and assisted in the preparation of immigration applications which were falsely made.

According to the criminal complaint, Pierce defrauded an unknown number of aliens and/or businesses by leading them to believe he was a federal agent with the appropriate authority within ICE to obtain approval of immigration applications for which the applicants were otherwise ineligible to obtain a benefit.

In exchange for monetary payments, Pierce prepared and/or filed fraudulent immigration applications on behalf of illegal aliens.

To date, the investigation has revealed more than 265 fraudulent immigration applications filed by Pierce and/or his assistants.

"Impersonating a federal agent is a serious crime that can undermine public trust," said Brock Nicholson, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Atlanta. "ICE HSI will continue to aggressively pursue and criminally charge individuals who misrepresent themselves as federal officials in an attempt to take advantage of others for their own financial gain."

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of North Carolina is prosecuting the case.