ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Previously Deported Mexican National Charged with Passport Faud, Aggravated ID Theft, Drug and Firearm Offense

Eastern District of California

 

www.justice.gov/usao/cae

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood
916-554-2706
usacae.edcapress@usdoj.gov

Previously Deported Mexican National Charged with Passport Faud, Aggravated ID Theft, Drug and Firearm Offense

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a six-count superseding indictment today against Eliecer Reyes Huerta, 31, a Mexican national residing in Vallejo, adding charges of possessing methamphetamine and cocaine with intent to distribute, and unlawfully possessing a firearm, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. On December 19, 2013, Huerta was indicted for making false statements in connection with applications for United States passports and aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, on July 30, 2012, Huerta filed an application for a U.S. passport, falsely stating that his name was Jose Manuel Ventura Ruiz and that he was born in Puerto Rico. In fact, Huerta is an alien who was previously deported to Mexico. In October 2012, Huerta again falsely stated that his name was Jose Manuel Ventura Ruiz, this time in connection with an application for a U.S. passport for a minor.

According to court documents, in January 2014, when law enforcement agents executed search warrants at Huerta’s home, they discovered methamphetamine and cocaine packaged in plastic bags, scales, and a handgun.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Assistant United States Attorney Nirav Desai is prosecuting the case.

Huerta is in custody on the pending charges and will be arraigned on the superseding indictment on May 30, 2014.

If convicted, Huerta faces the following maximum sentences: for either passport fraud offense — 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; for aggravated identity theft — two years and a $250,000 fine; for the methamphetamine-related offense — five to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine; for the cocaine-related offense — 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine; for the firearms offense — 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

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