Two Brazilian nationals have been sentenced and ordered deported yesterday in federal court on charges related to scheme involving the production and sale of false social security cards and alien registration cards, more commonly known as “green cards.”
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Robin M. Avers, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Gary Gemme, Chief of the Worcester Police Department, announced that Valdina Aries Santos, age 44, a native and citizen of Brazil, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV to 13 months of imprisonment on each of five counts of transferring false U.S. identification documents and one count of possessing false U.S. identification documents, each count to be served concurrently.
Judge Saylor also ordered the immediate deportation of Santos to Brazil following the completion of her term of imprisonment.
Santos’ co-conspirator, Frank Machado da Silva, was sentenced on Friday, April 29, 2005. Da Silva, age 32, also a native and citizen of Brazil, previously pleaded guilty to six counts of producing false U.S. identification documents.
At last Friday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Saylor ordered Da Silva to serve 15 months of imprisonment on each count, to be served concurrently. Judge Saylor also ordered the immediate deportation of Da Silva to Brazil following the completion of his term of imprisonment. Da Silva also withdrew any claim he had to $3,400 in United States currency, which was seized from him at the time of his arrest.
At an earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that in August 2004, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, acting on a tip, began an undercover operation, dubbed “Operation Fastpass,” to purchase false social security cards and false green cards being made in the Metrowest and Worcester County areas of Massachusetts.
From August through December 2004, agents were able to purchase 50 phony green cards and 50 phony social security cards from Santos and Da Silva. Santos acted as the broker and negotiated the sale of the phony documents in exchange for $65 per document. Da Silva produced the phony documents with equipment in his apartment which was located in Worcester.
On December 8, 2004, both defendants were arrested, and after waiving their rights, both defendants admitted to their involvement in the scheme. Agents seized the document making equipment from Da Silva as well as $3,400 in United States currency.
The prosecution was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with the assistance of the Worcester Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Casey in Sullivan’s Worcester Office.
Source: U.S. Attorney