CEDAR RAPIDS – An illegal alien from El Salvador who used false identity documents to gain employment and falsely claimed to be an United States citizen was convicted by a jury today, after a two-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.
Julian Reyes Ferrer-Hernandez, age 27, from Waterloo, Iowa, was convicted of one count of unauthorized use of a Social Security number not assigned to him, one count of unlawful use and possession of a fake social security card and fake permanent resident card to gain employment in the United States, one count of making a false claim of being a lawful permanent resident alien on an Immigration I-9 form, one count of falsely claiming to be an United States citizen, and one count of making a false statement regarding his employment during an interview with immigration officers. The verdict was returned this afternoon following about 90 minutes of jury deliberations.
The evidence at trial showed that on March 14, 2012, Ferrer-Hernandez was arrested in Waterloo, Iowa, for public intoxication. At the time of his arrest, Ferrer-Hernandez provided a Waterloo police officer with six different identity cards, including a fake social security card and a fake lawful permanent resident alien card. The permanent resident number was assigned to a Nigerian. Officers also seized two El Salvadoran identity cards and two fake California ID cards. Ferrer-Hernandez was born in, and is a citizen of, El Salvador.
Testimony showed that Ferrer-Hernandez used the fake social security card and the fake lawful permanent resident alien card to obtain employment in Waterloo, Iowa, where he filled out an Immigration I-9 Form on May 19, 2008, falsely claiming to be a lawful permanent resident alien. Immigration I-9 forms are required to be completed by all employees working within the United States. Ferrer-Hernandez worked in Waterloo, Iowa, continuously from May 2008 through February 2012.
On April 16, 2012, Ferrer-Hernandez was questioned by an officer with Homeland Security. During that interview Ferrer-Hernandez first claimed he was born in El Salvador, then falsely claimed he was a United States citizen born in an unknown city in Texas. Ferrer-Hernandez also falsely stated that he had not been employed in the United States since 2005.
Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Ferrer-Hernandez remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Ferrer-Hernandez faces a possible maximum sentence of 33 years’ imprisonment, a $1,250,000 fine, $500 in special assessments, and 13 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and was investigated by officers from the Waterloo Police Department, the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.