The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rosemary M. Collyer United States District Judge
Jose Luis Contreras-Macedas, David Mora-Gil, Peles Francisco, Raymundo LopezVargas, Pedro Hernandez-Carlon, Remigio Gonzalez-Olvera, and Oscar Aguilar-Gomez ("Defendants") challenge the criminal indictment against them charging them with possession of fraudulent identification documents and aggravated identity theft. They seek to dismiss the indictment against them pursuant to the Speedy Trial Act and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(b) for unnecessary delay in prosecution and for lack of evidence on the aggravated identity theft charge. The Court concludes that the Government did not purposely delay prosecuting the Defendants and that there is sufficient evidence to support the aggravated identity theft charges in the indictment. The Defendants' motions to dismiss will be denied.
Defendants were charged in a September 22, 2005, superseding indictment with the sale and possession of false immigration documents. Specifically, the Defendants were charged with possession of fraudulent documents prescribed for authorized stay or employment in the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a); production of false identification documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(1); transfer of false identification documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(2); possession of five (5) or more false identification documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(3); and possession of document-making implements, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(5). The indictment also included charges for conspiracy to commit these offenses and aiding and abetting commission of these offenses. The indictment also charged Contreras-Macedas, MoraGil, Francisco,*fn1 and Lopez-Vargas*fn2 with aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1).
According to the indictment, the Defendants were engaged in a conspiracy, from about February 1, 2005, to August 2, 2005, that involved forgery and alteration of resident alien cards, employment authorization cards, and social security cards. These documents were used to assist illegal aliens to remain in the United States and work here. Since illegal aliens would be otherwise unable to work, these fraudulent documents gave them an "identity" to use to stay in the country and obtain gainful employment. The Defendants sold the false identification documents to illegal aliens, according to the indictment, near the 1600 to 1800 blocks of Columbia Road NW in Washington, D.C. Orders for the false documents were allegedly brought to the Defendants at 526 Tuckerman Street NW, where document-making implements, such as a typewriter, a laminating machine, and laminating paper, were located.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that Contreras-Macedas possessed an order for false identification documents and laminating paper on May 10, 2005. On the same day, Mora-Gil was found in possession of several orders for false identity documents. The indictment also alleges that Contreras-Macedas and Mora-Gil were in possession of fraudulent social security cards, permanent resident cards, and an employment authorization card.
The indictment further alleges that Francisco attempted to solicit customers to purchase false identity documents in the 1600 to 1800 blocks of Columbia Road NW on June 21, 2005, and on August 2, 2005, he was found at 754 Harvard Street NW in possession of more than 100 false identification documents, including fraudulent resident alien cards and social security cards, and blank laminating sheets. Francisco also allegedly had in his possession document-making implements, including two laminating machines, two typewriters, and a paper cutter, as well as a firearm.
On August 2, 2005, Lopez-Vargas allegedly possessed orders for false identification documents at 526 Tuckerman Street NW; he is also alleged to have had fraudulent resident alien cards, employment authorization cards, and social security cards. He is charged with possession of two laminating machines, two typewriters, and a paper cutter, as well as five cameras. The indictment alleges that these document-making implements were to be used to produce false identification documents. Lopez-Vargas also is charged with being illegally present in the United States on August 2, 2005, since he had previously been deported.
Additionally, Hernandez-Carlon allegedly entered 526 Tuckerman Street NW on July 26, 2005. On August 2, 2005, Gonzalez-Olvera allegedly had a ledger, which recorded the sale of false identification documents, in the trunk of his car. Finally, in August 2005, Aguilar-Gomez was found in possession of blank resident alien cards, which were allegedly intended to be used to make false resident alien cards.
To support the allegations of aggravated identity theft, the indictment alleges that, on May 10, 2005, Contreras-Macedas transferred false identification documents, consisting of a false social security card, a false permanent resident card, and a false employment registration card, each of which contained identification numbers of another person(s). Mora-Gil is alleged to have engaged in the same behavior on May 10, 2005, possessing a false social security card and false permanent resident card with identification numbers that belonged to another person(s). Francisco is alleged to have possessed, on August 2, 2005, a false social security card and false resident alien cards with identification numbers that belonged to another person(s). Lopez-Vargas is also alleged to have been in possession, on August 2, 2005, of false social security cards and false resident alien cards with identification numbers that belonged to another person(s).
Mora-Gil and Contreras-Macedas were both arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") agents on May 10, 2005, indicted on June 28, and arraigned on July 14. They were held on an immigration detainer until July 13, 2005. After their arrest, ICE began administrative removal proceedings, and Contreras-Macedas and Mora-Gil each signed a stipulated request for removal order*fn3 on May 11, 2005. An immigration judge signed the Defendants' order of removal on July 1, 2005.
Gonzalez-Olvera, Aguilar-Gomez, and Hernandez-Carlon were arrested by ICE agents on August 2, 2005, indicted on September 22, 2005, and arraigned on October 6. These Defendants signed stipulated requests for removal orders on the day they were arrested. An immigration judge signed removal orders for Hernandez-Carlon and Gonzalez-Olvera on August 12, 2005, and signed a removal order for Aguilar-Gomez on August 15, 2005.
Lopez-Vargas was arrested by ICE agents on August 23, 2005, and was arraigned on October 6. He had a prior deportation order that was reinstated on the date of his arrest. Francisco was arrested on August 2, 2005, on an outstanding bench warrant relating to a firearms violation. He was indicted on August 3, 2005, for the firearms charge, and again on September 22, 2005, for the identification theft charges. He was in ICE custody on August 9, 2005, and he was arraigned on September 26, 2006.