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Pacific Couple Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Charges Regarding Illegal Aliens

The Pacific man assisted a Driver's License Bureau employee with providing licenses to illegal aliens, while his wife was charged with harboring an unlawful resident.

Yvette Roberson, and several associates, were sentenced Friday on charges of providing State of Missouri drivers licenses to illegal aliens. According to court documents, Roberson was a contract employee of a privately operated Missouri Department of Revenue Office in St. Louis County. Between March 2010 and December 2011, Ricardo Ortiz and Jorge Fabian Pesqueda Perez provided individuals who were illegally in the United States with the identifying information of United States citizens or lawful residents of the United States, stated a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of Missouri.

Roberson, 59, St. Louis, was sentenced today to 42 months in prison on one felony count of conspiracy defraud, one felony count of producing false identification documents, and two felony counts of aggravated identity theft before United States District Judge Jean C. Hamilton.          

Ricardo Ortiz, a/ka Jose Ramos, Jr., 31, Pacific, pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud, two felony counts of production of false identification documents, two felony counts of aggravated identity theft and one felony count of illegal re-entry of a previously convicted felon, and was sentenced in November to 45 months in prison. His wife, Melissa Ortiz, 33, also of Pacific, pled guilty to one felony count of harboring an illegal alien and was sentenced to three years of probation.

Ortiz and Perez instructed the individuals to approach Roberson at her place of employment, and present her with the name, social security number, and date of birth they provided to the individuals. Upon receipt of the information, Roberson issued the individuals genuine State of Missouri driver’s licenses and non-drivers identification documents.

In one case, the release stated Roberson advised an individual that the identity he wished to use had too many criminal warrants attached to it, and he should obtain a different identity to use. Those who received driver’s licenses were not required to prove their lawful residency or their ability to safely operate motor vehicles. 

Roberson, Ortiz, and Pesqueda Perez assisted co-defendants Elizabeth Cervantes, Rafael Moreno Guerrero, Magdalena Contreras Lopez and others with obtaining fraudulent State of Missouri drivers licenses.          

In addition to pleading guilty to his involvement in the drivers license scheme, Ricardo Ortiz also entered a guilty plea to having illegally re-entered the United States after having been deported. His wife, Melissa Ortiz, entered a plea of guilty to harboring an illegal alien. 

According to the plea, Ortiz had been deported at least three times prior to being arrested on the current charges in 2012. The deportations occurred January 12, 2000, April 19, 2000, March 19, 2002, and January 23, 2004. 

Throughout the various illegal entries and deportations, Melissa and Ricardo Ortiz resided together in the Eastern District of Missouri with their children. Beginning in 2008, Ricardo Ortiz used a fraudulently produced State of Missouri drivers license in the name of J.A.R. to conceal his unlawful residency in the United States. Melissa Ortiz and Ricardo Ortiz also used the identity of J.A.R. to  jointly register vehicles in the name of Melissa Ortiz and J.A.R.         

Co-defendants Jorge Fabian Pesqueda Perez, 35, of St. Peters, was sentenced to 16 months prison. Rafael Guerrero, 42, Warrenton, and Magdalena Lopez, 42, Warrenton, pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge of possession of false identification documents were sentenced to one year of probation.          

Elizabeth Cervantes, 27, of St. Peters, has pled guilty to related charges and awaits sentencing in January 2013.                 

This case was investigated by the Missouri Department of Revenue Compliance and Investigation Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

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