El PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Two men from the Dominican Republic pleaded guilty to using stolen personal identification information to obtain high-end electronic devices.
Wilver Jose Polanco-Alvarez, 26, and Jose Eduardo Gomez Salas, 25, admitted in federal court today to using stolen personal identification information to get cell phones, laptops, tablets and watches.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft before Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones this morning.
The two were stopped at the Paso Del Norte International Bridge in El Paso on April 11, 2020. Federal agents reviewed Gomez’s iPhone finding personal identification of multiple individuals including photographs of Polanco, court documents say.
The documents also show the two assumed different aliases in the form of fraudulent driver’s licenses from Indiana, Texas, California, New Mexico, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Further investigation revealed that the defendants operated a scheme in at least five different states with the help of others to purchase and activate cell phones and other electronic devices. Gomez mailed the items to 28-year old supposed ringleader Marcos Andres Briceno-Romero in New Jersey, a news release said.
The defendants have remained in federal custody since their arrest in April 2020 and face up to 20 years in federal prison. Each identity theft charge will be two years in federal prison. Sentencing has not been scheduled.