Local News

Raleigh man accused of heading fake documents ring

Posted February 24, 2011

— A Raleigh man oversaw a multi-state operation that supplied phony Social Security cards and other documents to illegal immigrants and funneled the profits back to Mexico, according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday in Richmond.

Israel Cruz Millan, 28, placed managers in cities in 11 states, from Massachusetts to Arkansas, who then oversaw groups of "runners" who drummed up business for the operation and arranged transactions with customers, according to the indictment.

The cost of fraudulent documents varied on the location, with counterfeit green cards and Social Security cards typically selling for $150 to $200. Each local cell maintained detailed sales records and divided the proceeds between the runner, the manager and upper-level managers in Mexico.

The indictment states that members of the organization wired more than $1 million to Mexico between January 2008 and last November 2010.

Cruz Millan used violence to intimidate competitors and control the fake documents trade in various cities, according to the indictment.

On Oct. 29, for example, he used a teleconference to broadcast the beating of a runner in Raleigh who he thought had stolen money and fake Social Security cards from the operation, according to the indictment.

"During the call, the listeners could hear sounds of the victim screaming as a result of the beating," the indictment states.

In other cities, runners would pose as customers for competing organizations and then assault the people who tried to sell them fake documents, according to the indictment. In Little Rock, Ark., one competitor was killed in such an attack.

Raleigh man accused of heading fake documents ring Raleigh man accused of heading fake documents ring

The indictment charges 22 people with racketeering. They also face charges of conspiracy to produce and transfer false identification documents and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Five people have already pleaded guilty in the case. 

"The indictment portrays a deadly criminal organization that uses brutal violence to eliminate rivals, protect its turf and enforce discipline against its own members," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement.

“Fraudulent documents give people the appearance of lawful status and provide them a ticket to access and opportunities to which they are not entitled," John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement.

Dorian Sanchez-Acosta ran the ring's Raleigh operation from a home on White Hall Avenue, according to the indictment. Gabriel Soberanas-Grada ran the Greensboro operation, and Juan Arroyo-Pantoja ran the Wilmington operation, the indictment states.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 1, 2011

    (typo - should have read) There's a lot of opinion here...

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 1, 2011

    There's of opinion here...based on nothing but a narrow view. (sometimes what was seen at a single store visit)

    It may work for some of you to believe things without evidence. Other folks require facts before forming conclusions. Proof. YMMV

  • SonODuncan Feb 25, 2011

    Hereandnow, I shouldn't have to point out the obvious but here goes...

    If illegals can obtain fake ID like this, they can certainly file a plausible tax return to enjoy benefits like EITC and AOTC and they can also use it to enjoy in-state tuition.

    I came here legally ten years ago. I am proud to be an ABC (American By Choice) and I resent anyone coming here illegally and drawing from the economy. Remember that a lot of money flows out of the USA each week via Western Union and the like from illegals. That is money that could and should be spent here. That is money that can provide employment for those in this country legally.

  • driverkid3 Feb 25, 2011

    Are YOU an illegal?

  • driverkid3 Feb 25, 2011

    ibbott, it offends me that there are so many of these ILLEGAL CRIMINAL ALIENS in this state and NO ONE wants to take the responsibility of getting them out. Instead we bend over backwards to accommodate them and cater to them. In that process, all the LEGAL citizens of this state lose BIG TIME!

  • shortcake53 Feb 25, 2011

    Hereandnow, my opinion holds more water than your "facts".

  • shortcake53 Feb 25, 2011

    hereandnow, just open your eyes. And Karmen, just come to school and see how many kids are getting free lunches but their parents come to get them in huge pick ups and Cadilac Escalades, or get in line behind one in line at the grocery store with a fistful of food stamps. Then stop by the health clinic or ER and get in line and see if you get free healthcare.
    I could continue, but you get the point.

  • ibbott41 Feb 25, 2011

    Why WRAL describes this man as a Raleigh man. He is not from Raleigh, He is an illegal alien from Mexico. you are so politically correct that are afraid to use the word Mexican. Other newspapers call it or him like it is. He is not a Nor Carolinian. Do not offend us.

  • Blueboxinggloves Feb 25, 2011

    hereandnow99 - That is insane! With the national unemployement rate hovering around 9%, we don't "need" more immigrants coming into this country. Much less the illegal immigrants we have now!

  • marymarg27608 Feb 25, 2011

    I think my son was a victim of this creep because my son's SS # was used in four different states. The only way we knew something was up, was that the IRS billed him for over $5,000.00 in back taxes for 2008. It took us six months of our own leg work to get this taken care of. We got one of the illegals arrested for identity theft and sent back to Mexico and so far the IRS is leaving us alone. If you aren't savvy to
    these schemes, you lose. By the way, my son has been unemployed since October 2008 and hasn't been able to find work.
    What gives folks? And if Mexico and the rest of Central America would pay their people decent wages, they wouldn't be coming up here.