DENVER –LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Bill Leone, United…

DENVER –LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Bill Leone, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and Jeffrey Copp, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Denver Office, announced that FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTORENA-IBARRA, age 46, from Mexico City, Mexico, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock to serve 87 months (over 7 years) in federal prison for money laundering related to the production and sale of fraudulent and counterfeit immigration identification related documents.

FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTORENA-IBARRA along with his brother, PEDRO CASTORENA-IBARRA, are thought to be the masterminds behind one of the largest fraudulent identification document production organizations in the United States. PEDRO CASTORENA-IBARRA was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 11, 2005, and remains a fugitive from justice. During today’s sentencing hearing the court recognized that CASTORENA- On September 22, 2004, FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTORENA-IBARRA was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on charges related to the conspiracy to produce counterfeit immigration identification documents. On October 7, 2005, FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTORENA-IBARRA pled guilty to a separate charge of money laundering the proceeds from the sales of counterfeit documents.

According to the plea agreement, FRANCISCO JAVIER CASTORENA-IBARRA conspired to manufacture and provide support to produce counterfeit alien registration receipt cards, Social Security cards, and other identification documents to foreign nationals unlawfully in the United States, and others, for a fee. The defendant then employed, and directed others to employ, Western Union to wire transfer the illegal proceeds from the fraudulent document sales from Metro Denver to others in Mexico, California, and elsewhere.

“The production of counterfeit identification documents is crime that has a negative impact on the United States on a number of different levels,” United States Attorney Bill Leone said. “At the highest level, counterfeit immigration and identification documents can enable terrorists to move freely within the United States. At the lowest level, these documents hamper law enforcement efforts to determine the true identity of someone they come into contact with.”

“The tremendous extent of the Castorena Family Organization’s fraudulent document ring creates immeasurable security problems nationally and internationally,” said Jeffrey Copp, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge of the Denver office. “We will likely never know all the terrible ramifications supported by the counterfeit documents this organization created. However, Francisco Javier CASTORENA-Ibarra is only one of those who will pay for this crime. ICE will work with many other law enforcement agencies to bring to justice those responsible.” Copp heads the ICE Office of Investigations, which includes: Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

This CASTORENA-IBARRA case has been actively investigated and prosecuted under the direction of Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Mackey in cooperation with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Postal Inspection Service.

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