U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Mario Soto, 37, of Buffalo, N.Y., who was convicted of illegal sale of a United States social security card, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to 12 months’ probation. In addition, Angel Pagan, 50, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted of possession with intent to use or transfer unlawfully five or more identification documents, was sentenced also by Judge Arcara to 12 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who handled each of the cases, stated that Soto knowingly sold his own Puerto Rican birth certificate and his own social security card in exchange for $700 in cash. Pagan knowingly sold five sets of identification documents in exchange for $3,500 in cash. The identification documents consisted of four Puerto Rican birth certificates, one New York state birth certificate and five U.S. Social Security Cards. The defendants were led to believe that the authentic identification documents would be used to allow illegal immigrants to remain and work in the United States unlawfully.
Soto and Pagan are two of four defendants involved in unlawfully selling identification documents discovered during an investigation conducted the by the Department of Homeland Security. Defendant Xavier Gonzalez will be sentenced on June 13, 2013 and charges are pending against defendant Jorge Garcia.
The sentencings are the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Ryan.