GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Jesus Emmanuel Lopez-Garcia, 31-years-old, a citizen of Mexico who most recently resided illegally in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment today for his role in a counterfeit identification document ring.
U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell noted that the offense “undermined the authority of the United States” in imposing a sentence above the sentencing guidelines.
Between September, 2013, and March, 2015, Lopez-Garcia conspired with Jaime Velasco-Jimenez and Victor Hugo Quesada-Pacheco (also citizens of Mexico residing illegally in Kalamazoo), to produce and distribute counterfeit identification documents.
Lopez-Garcia and Quesada-Pacheco solicited business from illegal aliens residing in Kent and Kalamazoo counties in need of counterfeit identification documents. Lopez-Garcia and Quesada-Pacheco provided the names, false social security account numbers, and other false biographical information for their customers to Velasco-Jimenez who then produced counterfeit driver’s licenses, state identification documents, social security account number cards, lawful permanent resident cards, and other false identification documents at his apartment in Kalamazoo.
Lopez-Garcia and Quesada-Pacheco then delivered the counterfeit identification documents to their customers and collected a fee that was shared with Velasco-Jimenez. The ring produced well in excess of 100 sets of counterfeit identification documents during its operation.
“The U.S. is a nation where the rule of law governs,” said U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles. “Producing counterfeit identification documents for profit under the seal and purported authority of state and federal agencies is blatantly illegal and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Document fraud directly threatens national security and undermines the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. “HSI will continue to aggressively target and dismantle criminal organizations as well as individuals who perpetrate these schemes.”
Lopez-Garcia now faces proceedings regarding his deportation from the United States and recently forfeited numerous electronic devices and $17,488.00 related to his crime. Velasco-Jimenez will be sentenced in federal court on September 11, 2015, and Quesada-Pacheco on September 17, 2015.
Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Stella is prosecuting the case. The investigation is being handled by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations division in Grand Rapids.