AST Digital Magazine July/August 2016 - Page 66

Volume 6 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. Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco “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. July-Aug 2016 Edition Drug Ring Used ‘Body Carriers’ to Smuggle Narcotics thru Port In addition to the arrests, federal investigators also seized seven firearms during the two-day operation, which involved warranted searches at four locations, including sites in Brawley and Calipatria. Eleven defendants have been indicted on drug trafficking and firearms charges for their role in a farreaching scheme based in the Imperial Valley that used body carriers to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine into the U.S. through the Calexico Port of Entry. The indictments, handed down earlier this week, are the result of a yearlong probe spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The 11 defendants were taken into custody during enforcement actions Wednesday and Thursday throughout the Imperial Valley. In addition to the arrests, federal investigators also seized seven firearms during the two-day operation, which involved warranted searches at four locations, including sites in Brawley and Calipatria. Many of the search locations were private homes where the drugs and firearms were stored and sold. 66