Several Dominican nationals were indicted Thursday in federal court with various charges of aggravated identity theft and false representation of a Social Security number according to the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Massachusetts.
According to the Justice Department, the 12 illegal aliens from the Dominican Republic are believed to have obtained stolen identities of United States citizens living in Puerto Rico and to have used those identities to obtain documents and public benefits that they would not otherwise be eligible to receive, such as Registry of Motor Vehicles identity documents, Social Security numbers, Medicaid, unemployment and public housing subsidies – documents required to illicitly establish legal residency in the United States, or at least function within the country.
The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year sentence that must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, up to one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The 12 defendants were previously charged during a benefit fraud operation dubbed “Double Trouble,” and are currently in custody.
The investigation was conducted by a Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, comprised of various local, state and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity, and benefit fraud schemes.
The following defendants were each indicted on one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number:
- Alejandra Eulalia Baez Arias, 40, of Lawrence
- Saddan Rafael Bautista Diaz, 27, of Dorchester
- Robert Crisologo Bobadilla Baez, 43, of Mattapan
- Fernando Cedeno Carpio, 34, residing in Houston, Texas, with legal permanent resident status
- Ramon Lara Martinez, 45, of Hyde Park, was also indicted on one count of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm
- Viterbo Enrique Minaya Melo, 30, of Lawrence
- Ulises Francisco Mota Carmona, 35, of Lawrence
- Yhoan Alexis Nivar Rodriguez, 29, residing in Mattapan with legal permanent resident status, was also indicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl
- Randy Manuel Percel Arias, 23, of Lawrence
- Jose Mercedes Polanco Guerrero, 47, of Dorchester
- Carmen Sanchez Garcia De Martinez, 64, a dual Dominican and Venezuelan national residing in Springfield
- Erika Bautista Diaz, 30, was indicted on one count of false representation of a Social Security number