DENVER- LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Troy A. Eid, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and Joseph Durkin Special Agent In-Charge of the Diplomatic Security Service San Francisco Field Office, announced 14 Colorado residents were charged in federal court with felony passport fraud this past year.
According to various court records and proceedings, these defendants all acting separately, applied for United States passports using false names or false documents at Colorado Post Offices. Over the past year, all of these defendants were arrested by or self-surrendered to Special Agents of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), as it is a federal crime to apply for, to possess, or to use a passport issued in a false name. All of these defendants were indicted on felony passport fraud charges, and most have since pleaded guilty to that charge or to related false identification offenses in federal court in Denver. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Passport fraud is a federal crime that carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Below are the defendants:
Jesus Toscano-Grin of Denver
Imelda Limon of Denver
Julian Estrada-Jimenez of Brighton
Noe Flores of Pueblo
Jack Pereida of Silt
Tania Gasca-Gonzalez of Denver
Berta Garcia of Rifle
Neil Ramoutar of Las Vegas, NV
Juan Calderon of Denver
Sergio Meraz Gutierrez of Northglenn
Moussa Sleiman Bitar of Aurora
Oralia Rodriguez-Acosta of Westminster
Susana Osana of Thornton
Zenan Hernandez of Thornton
“Protecting the integrity of U.S. passports is a critical national security priority,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid. “We mean business. Steal or fake someone’s passport and you could well land in federal prison.”
“Anyone who applies for a United States passport using a false name and false documents faces a certainty of criminal prosecution. These sentences are proof positive that American passports are off-limits, and the Diplomatic Security Service will continue to pursue these passport imposters,” said Special Agent In-Charge Joseph Durkin of the Diplomatic Security Service San Francisco Field Office.
These cases were investigated by the Diplomatic Security Service. Anyone with information about false or fraudulently issued passports or visas is encouraged to contact DSS at (303) 236-2781.