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Mexican woman sentenced for improperly using another's passport

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- Maricela De La Torre Valadez, 49, of Mexico, pleaded guilty to using improperly another individual’s passport and was sentenced to time served by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott S. Allen, Jr. and Jonathan P. Cantil, who handled the case, stated that on April 30, 2017, the defendant attempted to use a Mexican passport designed and issued for use by another person in order to gain entry into the United States.  Specifically, De La Torre Valadez, a passenger in a taxicab, presented the passport to a Customs and Border Protection Officer at the Rainbow Bridge Port of Entry in Niagara Falls, NY. When an officer asked the defendant to write her name on a piece of paper, De La Torre Valadez wrote her real name, which did not match the name on the passport. Further investigation revealed that the passport belonged to the defendant’s mother. When officers searched De La Torre Valadez’s luggage, they discovered a Mexican passport associated with the defendant’s true identity.

The plea and sentencing are the result of an investigation by Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy.