Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 3, 2013

Goshen man sentenced to four years in prison for illegal immigration operation

THE GOSHEN NEWS
Goshen News

---- — The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District, announced this week the end of the case against five people, including one Goshen man, convicted in February of conspiring to harbor illegal aliens and conspiring to commit mail fraud.

District Judge Jon DeGuilio sentenced:

• Margarito Fuentes Reyes, 52, Goshen, to 48 months in prison;

• Yalitza Exclusa Borrero, 32, Indianapolis, to 24 months in prison;

• Luis Omar Montes Merino, 34, Indianapolis, to 60 months in prison; and

• Omar Duran Lagunes, 35, Indianapolis, to 84 months in prison.

This past October, Judge DeGuilio sentenced Evelyn Rivera Borrero, 44, Indianapolis, to 24 months in prison.

In addition, Judge DeGuilio ordered all of the defendants to serve one year on supervised released following their prison sentences. Although three of the defendants — Duran, Montes Merino and Fuentes Reyes — are in the United States illegally, the judge imposed the supervised release terms to monitor their conduct should they return to the United States after deportation.

According to the case files, the defendants presented false information, forged documents and made false representations to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Indiana Secretary of State regarding the identity of the actual owners of motor vehicles in order to obtain registrations, license plates and titles. The conspirators used false advertising, created thousands of business entities, used false notarizations on BMV forms, submitted fictitious insurance information, presented false vehicle sale price amounts to avoid sales taxes, and used intimate knowledge of BMV procedures to accomplish the crimes.

By committing these and other misdeeds, the defendants concealed, harbored, and shielded from detection illegal aliens who are in the United States in violation of immigration laws and encouraged illegal aliens to enter and remain in the United States in violation of immigration laws, court records show. The conspirators typically charged their customers $350 and promised to register their vehicles in the customer’s name, but instead registered the cars in the name of sham limited liability companies to avoid BMV scrutiny. The court found that the conspiracy victimized more than 2,500 individuals between 2009 and 2012.

The conspirators operated in Elkhart, Goshen and Indianapolis.

The charges were the result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service titled “Operation Title Check.” Other law enforcement agencies assisting in the investigation included the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Elkhart Police Department, the Indiana State Police and investigators with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Indiana Secretary of State. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana was also involved in the investigation.

Goshen man pleads guilty re-entering U.S.

Horacio Hernandez, 50, Goshen, pled guilty this week before Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District, to the felony offense of re-entry of a deported alien and failure to register as a sex offender.

Sentencing has been set for Jan. 29. The charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service.