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Former Hampton illegal alien pleads guilty in federal court

gavel-justiceCEDAR RAPIDS – An illegal alien who assumed the identity of a U.S. citizen, obtained a U.S. passport, and voted in the 2012 presidential election pled guilty Tuesday in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Abel Hernandez-Labra, age 44, an illegal alien living in Hampton, Iowa, was convicted of one count of making false statements in a passport application, one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of making a false claim of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, and one count of harboring an illegal alien.

In a plea agreement, Hernandez-Labra admitted that he is a Mexican citizen who illegally entered the United States. Hernandez-Labra admitted he purchased a birth certificate and social security number of an American citizen born in Puerto Rico and assumed that identity. Falsely claiming to be a United States citizen, Hernandez-Labra used those documents to obtain Iowa driver’s licenses which he in turn, used to apply for and fraudulently obtain a U.S. passport in 2008 and to unlawfully register and vote in the 2012 federal election. Hernandez-Labra also admitted that, during 2014, he harbored and encouraged an illegal alien to reside unlawfully in the United States by providing work and a residence and by not reporting the alien to immigration authorities.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Hernandez-Labra remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Hernandez-Labra faces a mandatory sentence of two years’ imprisonment on the aggravated identity theft conviction, and a possible maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment on the passport fraud conviction, and five years’ imprisonment on both the illegal voting conviction and alien harboring conviction, along with a $1,000,000 fine, $400 in special assessments, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

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