By Scott Daugherty
The Virginian-Pilot
March 18, 2015


Guadalupe Ordaz Jarquin was a local point person for a sophisticated document forgery ring that provided dozens of Hampton Road residents fake Social Security and green cards.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree on that.

Still in dispute: Why did the Mexican national work for the organization? And what does he deserve as punishment now that he's been caught?

Jarquin, 35, and his cohort, Antonio Us Lopez, both of Chesapeake, are to be sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

According to court documents, Jarquin and Lopez sold fraudulent documents to at least two people before learning in October they were under scrutiny by Homeland Security Investigations. Each set of documents - made to look like they were issued by the federal government - was sold for $200.

Jarquin - a roofer by trade - confessed to serving as the organization's middleman for about 1-1/2 years. He spoke with prospective customers, collected their biographical information and forwarded it to his employers. Later, with Lopez's help, he delivered the documents.

"These organizations are easy to remotely locate and easier to move should the criminal enterprise become aware of potential law enforcement," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph E. DePadilla wrote in court documents. "The only deterrence is a reasonable sentence to make the conduct not worth the time offenders must stay incarcerated."

Jarquin's lawyer argues that his client was forced into the organization's continued service under threat of violence. In documents filed with the court, Assistant Federal Public Defender Keith Kimball wrote that his client tried to quit in the spring of 2013, only to be confronted by four "serious men" who warned him "something could happen" to him and his family if he didn't continue working for them.

"Mr. Jarquin was between a rock and hard place," Kimball wrote. "Because he himself was in this country illegally, he did not feel as though he could go to the police as he knew he would end up being deported."

Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of at least 10 months for Jarquin and time served for Lopez. Kimball wants time served for Jarquin.

The final decision will be left to U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis.