Sticky: 3 Men Enter Guilty Pleas in Forged Immigration Documents Case
Two Tulare men and one from Orosi who authorities said conspired to make and sell forged immigration documents, each entered a guilty plea in Fresno’s Federal Court Tuesday.
It is expected that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will begin inspecting local Fresno County businesses for employers who may have hired and continue to employ those unauthorized workers whom used fraudulent documents to gain employment.
This creates a bigger problem for the EMPLOYERS, who will face fines in excess of $3,200 per employee violation as well as criminal charges for hiring each unauthorized worker.
Ruben Gonzalez Gonzalez, 44, and Noel Fernando Canales Amador, 28, both from Tulare, and Margarito Zavala Barrera, 32, of Orosi, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce and transfer fraudulent immigration and identification documents.
According to court documents, between December 21 and April 6, Gonzalez sold fraudulent documents to several customers, meeting them in public locations throughout the county and region. He took their pictures and collected personal information, which he then passed on to either Zavala Barrera or Canales Amador, who produced the requested documents, authorities said.
“Anyone who knowingly and indiscriminately sells phony identity cards is putting the security of our communities and even our country at risk,” said Paul Leonardi, Immigration and Customs Enforcement resident agent. “Counterfeit documents can potentially be used by dangerous criminals and others who are attempting to obscure their identities and cover their tracks.”
Gonzalez charged about $80 for a set of documents, which included a forged Social Security card and an alien registration card.
The three men are subject to a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine.
Federal and state agencies worked together in this case, Department of Justice Spokeswoman Lauren Horwood said.