A Honduran man pleaded guilty Tuesday for scheming to sell identity documents from Puerto Ricans to immigrants residing illegally in the United States.
Jose Armando Pavon Salazar (Pavon), 37, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to encourage an alien to reside in the United States for financial gain, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. (RELATED: Three Alleged MS-13 Gang Members Indicted In Kidnapping And Murder)
Pavon was part of a 50-count indictment in 2012 that named 52 defendants for their roles in a massive identity fraud scheme benefiting illegal immigrants. According to Pavon’s guilty plea, he and his co-conspirators encouraged illegal immigrants to come to the U.S. for financial gain and then sold them ID documents belonging to actual U.S. citizens.
The conspirators allegedly purchased Social Security cards and coordinating Puerto Rican birth certificates and sold them to illegal immigrants who used them to reside in the U.S. In some cases, the fraudulent IDs were used by the illegal immigrants to obtain additional documentation in a U.S. citizen’s name, such as a driver’s license or a passport.
Sentencing for Pavon will take place in September. After serving his sentence, Pavon will be removed to Honduras per his plea agreement.
As of July 2015, 49 of the other co-conspirators had pleaded guilty in the scheme. However, Pavon was a fugitive until his arrest in 2018.