A Mexican who led a ring that used stolen Social Security numbers of American citizens to make fake IDs for undocumented workers was sentenced in Charlotte on Wednesday to federal prison, U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said.
Juan Diego Gonzalez-Campos, 30, will face deportation after completing his sentence of three years and three months, according to Murray.
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“The stealing of identities of real people is causing serious problems in this country,” U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn Jr. said in sentencing Gonzalez-Campos.
Court records show Gonzalez-Campos and four conspirators made fake Social Security cards, birth certificates and driver’s licenses for numerous people, including undocumented workers. They charged $270 to $1,000 per document, depending on the type of record.
People whose numbers were stolen often encountered problems with their credit and when filing tax returns, prosecutors said.
Gonzalez-Campos was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to produce fraudulent identification documents, aggravated identity theft and possession of firearm ammunition by an alien. Police recovered 25 Remington Golden Saber High Performance Jacket 9mm Luger rounds that were illegal for Gonzalez-Campos to have, court records show.
Gonzalez-Campos and other ring members made and sold the fake documents from February 2016 to March 2017. They knew people would use the documents as proof they were in the country legally, prosecutors said.
Faustino Pelaez-Arellanes, 33, pleaded guilty in the case in December and was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, court records show.
Anabel Salinas-Marin, 29; Hector Tellez-Crisanto, 37; and Socorro Garcia-Merida, 30, have all pleaded guilty in the conspiracy and await sentencing.
Researcher Maria David contributed.