8 hours ago

CEDAR RAPIDS — An undocumented worker living in Waterloo who attempted to obtain a U.S. passport using fraudulent and illegally obtained documents was convicted by a jury Wednesday, after a one-day trial in federal court.

Eduardo Rodriguez-Ayala, 28, a citizen of Mexico, was convicted of one count of unlawful possession of an identity document, one count of making false statements in a passport application, two counts of making a false claim of United States citizenship, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The verdict was returned this morning following about 90 minutes of deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that on Aug. 10, 2012, Rodriguez-Ayala, claiming to be a U.S. citizen, used a fraudulent Arizona birth certificate in his brother Ramon’s, name to obtain an Iowa identification card in Waterloo and to register to vote.

Three days later, on Aug. 13, 2012, Rodriguez-Ayala used the falsely procured Iowa identification card and the fraudulent birth certificate to apply for a U.S. passport in Waterloo. Rodriguez-Ayala later gave a false name and date of birth to State Department agents investigating the passport application. Rodriguez-Ayala eventually admitted he used false documents and his brother’s identity to apply for the U.S. passport.

Rodriguez-Ayala faces a mandatory sentence of two years’ imprisonment on each of the aggravated identity theft charges, with at least one such sentence to be served consecutive to any other sentence. He also faces possible maximum sentences ranging from 3 to 10 years on each of the other charges. He faces a fine of $1.5 million, $600 in special assessments, and three years’ supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Tvedt and was investigated by agents from the United States Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.