In 2010, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) arrested 12 residents in California’s Central Valley on charges of federal passport fraud, Pat Durkin, Special-Agent-In-Charge of the DSS San Francisco Field Office announced today.
The accused allegedly applied for a United States passport using a counterfeit, stolen, or other unlawfully-obtained citizenship documentation and identity documentation, which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The majority of these cases were referred to DSS by the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
The arrests include:
“The Diplomatic Security Service is committed to investigating and pursuing anyone who applies for or obtains a United States passport using false identification documents,” said Durkin. “The U.S. passport is the most coveted travel document in the world. There are foreign nationals who fraudulently acquire U.S. passports to carry out criminal activities, including terrorism, inside our borders. These crimes threaten the national security of the United States.”
Those arrested were referred by DSS for prosecution and or deportation. They are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Anyone with information about false or fraudulently obtained U.S. passports is encouraged to contact DSS at (415) 705-1176.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State's law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals of the Bureau are responsible for the security of 285 U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the U.S. Secretary of State and high ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations. In 2009, DS participated in more than 1200 arrests globally, primarily for passport and visa fraud. Read more in the U.S. Department of State's Visa and Passport Security Strategic Plan at: www.state.gov/m/ds/rls/rpt/79895.htm. Additional information about the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security may be obtained at www.state.gov/m/ds.
San Francisco Field Office