19 foreign nationals charged in NC for voting in 2016 election
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Nineteen foreign nationals from 14 different countries face charges for allegedly voting in the 2016 election, according to a news release from the US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Prosecutors say the charges include voting by alien for their actions prior to and on November 8, 2016. A twentieth defendant was charged with aiding and abetting a fellow defendant in falsely claiming United States citizenship in order to register to vote.
A federal grand jury in Wilmington returned indictments for false claim of United States citizenship in order to register to vote, and voting by an alien against:
• Jose Cruz Solano-Rodriguez, age 41, of Mexico;
• Guadalupe Espinosa-Pena, age 63, of Mexico;
• Sarah Emilia Silverio-Polanco, age 35, of the Dominican Republic;
• Elizabeth Nene Amachaghi, age 44, of Nigeria;
• Maria Rufina Castillo-Boswell, age 31, of Philippines;
• Dora Maybe Damatta-Rodriguez, age 64, of Panama;
• Elvis David Fullerton, age 54, of Grenada;
• Olive Agatha Martin, age 71, of Guyana; and
• Kaoru Sauls, age 54, of Japan.
Separately, criminal charges of voting by an alien were filed against the following foreign nationals:
• Jose Jaime Ramiro-Torres, age 52, of El Salvador;
• Juan Francisco Landeros-Mireles, age 64, of Mexico;
• Alessandro Cannizzaro, age 46, of Italy;
• Dieudonne Soifils, age 71, of Haiti;
• Hyo Suk George, age 69, of Korea;
• Merius Jean, age 54, of Haiti;
• Rosemarie Angelika Harris, age 60, of Germany; and
• Daniel Tadeusz Romanowski, age 39, of Poland.
The grand jury indicted charging an eighteenth defendant, Diana Patricia Franco-Rodriguez, age 26, of Mexico, with fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents, and voting by an alien.
Additionally, the grand jury indicted Denslo Allen Paige, 66, with aiding and abetting Espinosa-Pena in falsely claiming United States citizenship in order to register to vote.
Prosecutors also say on August 14 Ramon Esteban Paez-Jerez, 58, of the Dominican Republic, was charged and pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with passport fraud and voting by an alien. According to the Criminal Information, Paez-Jerez in 1988 was ordered deported from the United States and failed to appear for his scheduled removal. According to court records, Paez-Jerez assumed a fraudulent identity and applied for amnesty. Paez-Jerez in 1989 was granted lawful permanent status under the false identity and in 1999 was naturalized contrary to law as a United States citizen. On July 7, 2007, Paez-Jerez registered to vote in North Carolina under his fraudulent identity. On September 16, 2009, Paez-Jerez made a false statement in an application for a United States passport when he applied under the fraudulent identity and failed to disclose his real name. On November 8, 2016, Paez-Jerez illegally voted in Wake County knowing he had illegally obtained United States citizenship.
Paez-Jerez faces maximum penalties of eleven years in prison, a $350,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for December in New Bern.
If convicted of false claim of United States citizenship in order to register to vote, and voting by an alien, Amachaghi, Castillo-Boswell, Damatta-Rodriguez, Espinosa-Pena, Fullerton, Martin, Sauls, Silverio-Polanco, and Solano-Rodriguez, would face maximum penalties of six years in prison a $350,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any prison term.
If convicted of voting by an alien, Cannizzaro, George, Harris, Jean, Landeros-Mireles, Ramiro-Torres, Romanowski, and Soifils would face maximum penalties of 12 months behind bars, a $100,000 fine and supervised release.
If convicted of fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents, and voting by an alien, Franco-Rodriguez would face maximum penalties of 26 years imprisonment, a $350,000 fine, supervised release.
If convicted of aiding and abetting in falsely claiming United States citizenship in order to register to vote, Denslo Allen Paige would face a maximum prison term of five years, a $250,000 fine, and supervised release.
Prosecutors say the investigation continues.