Federal authorities took a Nebraska City man into custody Wednesday morning for alleged involvement as an “identity broker” in an international scheme to traffic identities of Puerto Rican citizens.



Nebraska City police and Otoe County sheriff's deputies assisted U.S. postal inspectors and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees Homeland Security Investigations, to serve search and arrests warrants.



Officers entered a residence at 1208 Fourth Ave. around 6 a.m., but learned the suspect was no longer staying there.



An investigation led to a search of a home at the Nebraska City Mobile Home Community, where the man was taken into custody.


Federal authorities took a Nebraska City man into custody Wednesday morning for alleged involvement as an “identity broker” in an international scheme to traffic identities of Puerto Rican citizens.

Nebraska City police and Otoe County sheriff's deputies assisted U.S. postal inspectors and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees Homeland Security Investigations, to serve search and arrests warrants.

Officers entered a residence at 1208 Fourth Ave. around 6 a.m., but learned the suspect was no longer staying there.

An investigation led to a search of a home at the Nebraska City Mobile Home Community, where the man was taken into custody.

The U.S. Department of Justice reported this afternoon that 50 people were charged in a one-count indictment unsealed today in Puerto Rico with conspiracy to commit identification fraud.

Arrests were made in Puerto Rico and the United States.The Nebraska City man is expected to go before a federal court in Nebraska.

  “The indictment unsealed today alleges that from April 2009 to December 2011, the defendants operated an extensive black market, identity fraud ring,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“The alleged conspiracy stretched across the United States and Puerto Rico, using suppliers, identity brokers and mail and money runners to fill and deliver orders for the personal identifying information and government-issued identity documents of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens.

Those willing to buy and sell personal identifying information and documents should take notice of today’s actions.

The department and our law enforcement partners will not allow this kind of illegal activity to continue,” Breuer said.

According to the indictment, from at least April 2009 to December 2011, conspirators in 15 states and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, trafficked the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens, corresponding Social Security cards, Puerto Rico birth certificates and other identification documents to undocumented aliens and others residing in the United States.

The indictment alleges that suppliers located in the Savarona area of Caguas, Puerto Rico, obtained the Puerto Rican identities and corresponding identity documents. Identity brokers in various locations throughout the United States solicited customers.

 The identity brokers allegedly sold Social Security cards and corresponding Puerto Rico birth certificates for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set.

The indictment alleges that various identity brokers were operating in Nebraska City,  Rockford, Ill.; Indianapolis; DeKalb, Ill.; Columbus and Seymour, Ind.; Aurora, Ill.; Hartford, Conn.; Clewiston, Fla.; Lilburn and Norcross, Ga.; Salisbury, Md.; Columbus, Ohio; Fairfield, Ohio; Dorchester, Mass.; Lawrence, Mass.; Salem, Mass.; Worcester, Mass.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Nebraska City, Neb.; Elizabeth, N.J.; Burlington, N.C.; Hickory, N.C.; Hazelton, Pa.; Philadelphia; Houston; and Abingdon, Va.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as forfeiture.