WICHITA – A Mexican citizen working at a Dodge City, Kan., meat packing plant has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for working under a stolen identity, U. S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced Wednesday.
The man, 31-year-old Rosario de Jesus Zavala-Lopez, of Sinaloa, Mexico, entered the United States unlawfully about five years ago. He has worked at the Dodge City National Beef meat packing plant since October 2008 using the identity of a U.S. citizen from Fort Worth, Texas. He was indicted in May on eight document fraud and identity theft counts.
Zavala-Lopez was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten. He had pleaded guilty in August to aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence. Upon completion of the U.S. prison sentence, Zavala-Lopez will turned over to immigration authorities for removal proceedings.
“Identity theft continues to be a significant problem, both in fraud and employment-related cases,” Grissom said. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute these cases.”
Grissom commended the Ford County, Kansas, Sheriff’s Dept. and the Department of Homeland Security, Enforcement and Removal Operations, for their investigation of the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson for his prosecution. Zavala-Lopez has been in federal custody since his arrest in May and will be turned over to Federal Bureau of Prisons custody in two-to-three weeks, Grissom said.