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Newton brothers sentenced in fake ID case

Two Newton brothers received federal prison sentences Tuesday for their role in a family-run ring that made and sold fake identification documents.

Ring leader Crescencio Lopez-Cruz, 28, was sentenced to four years in prison followed by a year of supervised release, said Anne Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

His younger brother, Wilber Lopez-Cruz, 25, received a two-year sentence, then a year of supervised release.

The pair pleaded guilty in July 2013 to conspiracy to produce and transfer fraudulent ID documents, producing fraudulent ID documents and aggravated identity theft. Crescencio Lopez-Cruz also pleaded guilty to transferring fake ID documents, falsely representing a Social Security number and making false immigration documents.

Three other family members from Newton already were sentenced in connection with the case: brother Sixto Lopez-Cruz, 20; sister Rosalba Lopez-Cruz, 21; and brother-in-law Mario Tercero-Cruz, 34.

Court documents and Tompkins’ office provided additional details.

Authorities began investigating the family in September 2012 over a scheme to produce phony documents, some of which were for undocumented aliens who wanted to use the bogus records to remain in and work in the United States.

Those documents included driver licenses, Social Security cards and alien registration cards. Some of the fake items contained a mix of fictitious information as well as real details from people whose identities were stolen.

Customers paid from $200 to $650 per transaction, according to authorities.

Bell: 704-358-5696; Twitter: @abell
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