January 29, 2024

Mexican National Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison for Aggravated Identity Theft

Morgan Howard

A Mexican National who was living in Richland, Mississippi, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, 51-year-old Ivonne Elena Cortez-Acosta was first apprehended by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in 2000, when she attempted to smuggle 23.84 kilograms of marijuana in the backseat of her vehicle. As a result, she was booked, placed in removal proceedings, and subsequently removed from the United States and returned to Mexico as a Mexican national.

At some point, Cortez-Acosta reentered the United States without inspection and assumed the name and identity of a United States citizen. After assuming the identity, Cortez-Acosta fraudulently applied for Transportation Worker Identity Credential (TWIC). This document can be used to gain access to critical infrastructure areas or sites. Agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the Transportation Security Administration Office were able to intervein and apprehend Cortez-Acosta prior to her receiving a TWIC card.

U.S. Attorney Todd W. Gee of the Southern District of Mississippi, Special Agent in Charge Eric DeLaune of Homeland Security Investigations, and Special Agent in Charge Phil Spampinato of the Transportation Security Administration made the announcement.

Homeland Security Investigations and the Transportation Security Administration investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam T. Stuart prosecuted the case.

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