Eight Indicted For Immigration Fraud in Virginia

By: Keith Jones - Courtesy WHSV.Com
By: Keith Jones - Courtesy WHSV.Com

U.S. Attorney John Brownlee announced in a press conference Tuesday that indictments have been handed up to eight individuals for conspiring to violate federal immigration laws. The investigation took place in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area.

According to Brownlee, the investigation dates back to August 2007 and federal officials are getting closer to fixing what they call a growing problem.

"Defendant Jairo Gomez loaded the confidential informant and several other illegal aliens into a van here in Harrisonburg and drove them to Ohio," says Brownlee.

In Ohio, Brownlee says illegal documentation is easier to obtain. Gomez, along with Edwin Mendez, both out of Harrisonburg, would organize the trip.

Brownlee says, "The CI and other illegal aliens left Ohio with all the necessary paperwork to obtain lawful employment in the United States."

Brownlee says Mendez told confidential informants that he recruited illegal aliens looking to purchase Puerto Rican birth certificates and matching security cards, and that he was selling bogus documents for about nine years. However, they don't know exactly how many he's created.

Brownlee says, "It was significant and of course that's one of the problems on matters such as this, is that these guys do it for a long period of time."

"Immigration related fraud is our Achilles heel," says Mark McGraw, Deputy Special Agent in charge of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "These individuals provided documents that could have been used to obtain financial benefits or entitlements intended for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents."

In the last two weeks, indictments have been handed up to the eight individuals, including Gomez and Mendez. However, this may not be the end as the investigation is still underway.

Brownlee says, "This is one step to bring charges against these eight individuals and well just see where the evidence leads us."

Tuesday morning, four illegal aliens were arrested, but federal officials are not releasing any more information on those four at this time.


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  • by AC Location: NC on Mar 11, 2008 at 06:14 PM
    Unfortunate problem,and one the INS and other Govt agencies need to open their eyes to.I knew what they were doing in VA back in '99 when I became friends with a group of illegals that worked the local mex rest.They come from all over the central part of America,not just Mex.They then get pregnant here and the System lets them birth babies free of charge,while the same health care system charges honest tax paying AMERICANS plenty.And you wonder why our insurance is through the roof,my personal medical is $345 a month.Not to mention the criminal class that makes their way here.You could be living on the same block with murderous rapist and they could be mowing your lawn.It's about time our govt did something about this epidemic.
  • by howard Location: cincinnati on Mar 11, 2008 at 05:55 PM
    Yo better watch it. They are messing with Mccains god's children, plus you got to watch out for some of those Chamber of Commerces, they'll really get after you, keep up the good work.
  • by jyd Location: ayden on Mar 11, 2008 at 05:38 PM
    Bravo Zulo federal officials.The first report I have heard of involving illegal immigration .It is good to see that some type of enforcement against these type of crimes do exist.Politicians take note.
  • by Grammer PLEASE Location: Washington NC on Mar 11, 2008 at 05:24 PM
    Come on WITN!! I'm not an English major, but you would think that professionals would at least check their work for errors BEFORE posting it.
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