Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Conviction in Immigration and Identity Theft Probe
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the conviction of a man charged with trafficking in identity information unlawfully obtained from United States' citizens who live in Puerto Rico.
Thirty-six-year-old Jesus Arauza, aka Jonathan Gonzales-Cortes of Los Angeles, Calif., pled guilty on Monday, August 1, to two counts of trafficking in stolen identities following an investigation by General Conway's Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and other agencies. Arauza is the fourth defendant to be convicted in connection with these charges and was found to be the local source of stolen documents for the other defendants. A fifth defendant, Antonio Lopez, has been indicted in connection with the scheme and is awaiting trial.
"I am pleased that my office was able to obtain another conviction in connection with the trafficking of stolen identities," General Conway said.
The indictment and related pleadings alleged that between December of 2009 and March of 2010, Arauza, was involved in a scheme to sell to illegal immigrants' identification documents belonging to Puerto Rican residents. The documents were then used unlawfully to cause the issuance of official Kentucky identification cards. The Kentucky IDs were allegedly intended to be used for various purposes, including employment.
General Conway's DCI unit began investigating the allegations after receiving information from the Department of Defense (DOD) and concerned citizens in Kentucky. The Attorney General's investigation is ongoing.
Arauza will be sentenced on Thursday, September 15, in Jefferson Circuit Court, Division 12, at 9:30 a.m. He faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
Also convicted in connection with the scheme were Enrique Escalante of Lexington, Jose Reyes of Miami, Fla. and Pedro Carillo. Escalante was sentenced to seven years in prison, withheld pursuant to supervised probation with an obligation to cooperate with the Commonwealth's investigation. Jose Reyes was sentenced to 12 months in prison, withheld on pre-trial diversion. A fifth defendant, Antonio Lopez, has been indicted in the case.
An indictment is an accusation only. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.