Local USVI News

Man From Dominican Republic Sentenced to 8 Months in Federal Prison For Claiming to be U.S. Citizen

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ST. CROIX — United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced Wednesday that Ramon Torres Pichardo, 28, of the Dominican Republic was sentenced to eight months of imprisonment by Judge Wilma A. Lewis on his conviction on Material False Statement.

His sentence will be followed by two years of supervised release and a special assessment of $100 on the charge of Material False Statement.

According to court documents, on March 29, 2022, Torres-Pichardo presented himself for inspection to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix before attempting to board a flight to San Juan, PR, where he presented a Puerto Rico driver’s license as identification. 

During routine travel and immigration related questions by CBP, Torres-Pichardo falsely claimed to be a United States citizen and a resident of Puerto Rico. Torres-Pichardo was then referred for a secondary inspection due to concerns regarding the authenticity of his driver’s license. When questioned, Torres-Pichardo failed to correctly respond to questions regarding commonly known areas in Puerto Rico. Thereafter, Torres-Pichardo admitted that he was not a citizen of the United States and that he was not legally authorized to be present in the United States.

Upon further investigation, CBP determined that the Puerto Rico driver’s license presented by Torres-Pichardo was fraudulent.

This case was investigated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Evan Rihkye.

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