Fresno, California - A federal grand jury returned an indictment Thursday charging six Mexican nationals for their role in a scheme to manufacture and sell counterfeit identity and immigration documents, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The defendants - including Angelica Moreno-Velasquez, 31, Maria Victoria Perez-Vasquez, 30, Francisco Javier Hidalgo-Flores, 25, Lizet Amairani Ramirez-Zazueta, 26, and Veronica Rosales-Capitaine, 49, all of Fresno, and Fidel Vasquez-Velasquez, 22, of Madera - are charged with conspiracy; transferring false identification documents; possessing document-making implements; and fraud and misuse of alien registration receipt cards.
According to court documents, Vasquez-Velasquez, Hidalgo-Flores and Rosales-Capitaine manufactured fraudulent identification documents, including Social Security cards and alien registration receipt cards, often called “green cards.” Vasquez-Velasquez, Hidalgo-Flores and Perez-Vasquez took orders, photographs, and biographical information from customers, then delivered the completed fraudulent identification documents to the buyers. The defendants charged anywhere from $80 to $150 for one set of documents. Moreno-Velasquez and Ramirez-Zazueta also delivered fraudulent identification documents to customers and other co-conspirators.
“HSI aggressively targets criminals who illegally create and distribute fake ID’s,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco. “This nefarious activity opens a dangerous path for those wishing to cause harm to our country and wreak havoc on the lives of innocent identity theft victims.”
The charge of transferring false identification documents or possessing document-making implements carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Additionally, Moreno-Velasquez, Perez-Vasquez, Hidalgo-Flores, Ramirez-Zazueta, and Vasquez-Velasquez face a possible penalty of up to 10 years in prison if convicted of fraud and misuse of alien registration receipt cards. Finally, all six defendants face an additional maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted of the conspiracy charge.
Assistant United States Attorney Christopher D. Baker is prosecuting the case.