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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

Immigrant Posing as Puerto Rican Now Accused of Obtaining Passport and Florida Driver’s License by F

It has been recently reported that an immigrant from South America pretended he had been born in Puerto Rico and used a Florida driver license to get a U.S. passport. This incident is one of many that has occurred in Miami in the last 12 months and has been brought to the attention of the Miami Federal Court.

35 year old Edinson Canaveral Sánchez is to be tried in a Fort Lauderdale federal court. His charge is filing a false statement in a passport application and claiming that he was a U.S. citizen when applying for a driver’s license. The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) filed a complaint against him saying he got the Florida driver license while in Pompano Beach in August of 2012.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles database revealed that around August 2nd 2012, someone who called himself R.L.R. submitted an application for a Florida driver license at the DMV office in Pompano Beach. The man, who was actually called Canaveral Sánchez, stated in his application for a driver’s license that he had been born in Puerto Rico and he showed them his social security card and Puerto Rican birth certificate, both of which had been given to R.L.R.

By birth, a Puerto Rican is a U.S. citizen, so a Puerto Rican birth certificate can be useful to any undocumented immigrant who is Spanish-speaking because it is easy to mislead officials. This incident was uncovered by the Florida Highway Patrol who found that some Florida licenses had also been given to other people with the initials R.L.R. Canaveral Sánchez admitted his foreign nationality and said he had entered the country illegally in 2001 through San Diego.

So far, Canaveral Sánchez has filed a not guilty plea at his arraignment, so this will mean he will need an experienced Miami federal criminal defense attorney to argue his case on his behalf.

It appears the use of copied Puerto Rican birth certificates was thought to no longer exist since the Puerto Rico Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth started to issue more secure certified birth certificate copies to Puerto Rico born nationals. However, in this case several people managed to get U.S. drivers’ licenses issued in the same name before anyone realized. Anything that has been done to stop the fraudulent use of Puerto Rican documents has been a failure.

The U.S. government takes seriously anyone who tries to deceive a federal department by using counterfeit documents and another person’s identity. It is possible that the defendant could receive a substantial fine and a prison term up to 15 years. No doubt, the Florida DMV will also be looking into the other incidences where driving licenses were issued under the initials R.L.R and more people may be arrested for a similar crime to Canaveral Sánchez.

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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.

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