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Mexican National Guilty Of Making False Statement In Passport Application

A 52-year-old Mexican national has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

Baltazar Arrieta-Lara, a resident of Rusk County, Texas, pleaded guilty today to making a false statement in an application for a passport before U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell.

According to information presented in court, since at least 2002, Arrieta-Lara, a citizen and national of Mexico, had been living without legal immigration status in the United States.  Sometime after that, Arrieta-Lara obtained the name, date of birth, and social security number of a United States citizen and fraudulently used those identifiers to obtain various documents in the name of the U.S. citizen.  In 2007, Arrieta-Lara utilized the U.S. citizen’s identity to obtain a United States Passport in the citizen’s name.  After obtaining this U.S. passport, Arrieta-Lara traveled between the United States and Mexico on multiple occasions between 2009 and 2016.  The Department of State’s National Passport Center and Diplomatic Security Services discovered Arrieta-Lara’s fraudulent use of the U.S. citizen’s identity when Arrieta-Lara attempted to renew the passport.

Under the federal statute, Arrieta-Lara faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing.  The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security and Department of Homeland Security-Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Hurst.