RICHMOND, Va. - A Richmond-area man pleaded guilty Tuesday to participating in a multistate document fraud ring, all but wrapping up the federal government's prosecution of a case that has resulted in 28 convictions.
Jose Sanchez-Herrera, 32, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to produce and transfer false identification documents. Sanchez-Herrera, who originally was indicted on 10 conspiracy and racketeering counts, faces up to 15 years in prison at his sentencing Oct. 29. He will be deported to Mexico after his release.
Thirty men were indicted for involvement in a fake ID ring that operated in 11 states and, according to prosecutors, protected its lucrative turf with intimidation, beatings and at least one murder. Only one defendant was convicted at trial. Two have never been apprehended, and the rest have pleaded guilty.
According to a statement of facts filed in U.S. District Court, Sanchez-Herrera was a "runner" for the document fraud ring's Richmond cell. In that capacity, he recruited illegal aliens to buy fake documents _ including Social Security cards and so-called green cards _ typically for about $200 a set. He relayed the buyers' personal information and photos to a document production center, then delivered the finished products to the purchasers.
The only member of the enterprise who went to trial, Edy Oliverez-Jiminez of Virginia Beach, is serving two consecutive life terms in the kidnapping and murder of a rival fake ID seller in Little Rock, Ark. Sanchez-Herrera was not involved in the slaying.
Among those who previously pleaded guilty was ring leader Israel Cruz Millan of Raleigh, N.C., who is serving a 25-year sentence.
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