Local USVI News

Native of Dominican Republic Convicted for Making Materially False Statements to Government Agents at the Cyril E. King Airport

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St. Thomas, USVI – United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced today that after a two-day jury trial, Luis Miguel Lopez, a 28-year-old citizen of the Dominican Republic, was convicted of making a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States. Following Lopez’s conviction, District Court Chief Judge Robert A. Molloy ordered that Lopez be taken into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on February 11, 2022, Lopez presented himself to Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officers at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. There, he handed the CBP officers what purported to be a Puerto Rico driver’s license bearing the name of another individual. Lopez told officers he was a United States citizen born in Puerto Rico. Lopez filled out a Customs form using the same false name seen on the Puerto Rico driver’s license. An inspection of Lopez’s baggage revealed that he also possessed a Social Security card and birth certificate bearing the false name. Record checks conducted by CBP Officers revealed that the driver’s license and Social Security numbers Lopez was using were issued to other individuals. Further, expert testimony presented at trial confirmed that all the documents Lopez used and possessed were counterfeit.

Making a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. Chief Judge Molloy set Lopez’s sentencing hearing for September 2, 2022.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and CBP. It is being prosecuted by Criminal Chief Jill Koster.

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