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Mexican man in Iowa sentenced to prison following deportation and use of fake green card

This news story was published on October 25, 2019.
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Federal courthouse, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS – A Mexican man who had been deported, illegally returned to the United States, and then used false identification documents to obtain a job was sentenced today to almost three months in federal prison.

Jose Martinez-Lopez, age 47, a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the United States and residing in West Liberty, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 22, 2019, guilty plea to one count of unlawful use of identification documents, one count of misuse of a Social Security number, and one count of illegal reentry into the United States.

At the guilty plea, Martinez-Lopez admitted he had previously been deported from the United States and that he illegally reentered the United States without the permission of the United States government. Martinez-Lopez was deported in April 1992 following a conviction for theft in El Paso County, Texas.

Martinez-Lopez also admitted he used a fraudulent Social Security card and a fraudulent permanent resident card, also known as a “green card,” when he completed employment and tax forms in March 2019 at a business in Stanwood, Iowa. On the employment application, Martinez-Lopez falsely claimed to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The Social Security account number on the card used by Martinez-Lopez was fictitious. The Alien Registration number on the “green card” was issued to another person. On July 11, 2019, Martinez-Lopez was found and arrested by immigration agents at the business in Stanwood where Martinez-Lopez was employed.

Martinez-Lopez was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Martinez-Lopez was sentenced to 80 days’ imprisonment. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Martinez-Lopez is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be turned over to immigration officials.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations.

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