Dona Ana County gets Fed Attention
Yesterday, Twitter blew up as journalists and Left-leaning political bloggers wrote about the roll-out of arrests at the Dona Ana County Clerk’s office. Three arrests occurred yesterday, while there were three previous arrests Friday.
Reportedly the county employees arrested were allegedly part of a identity theft and check cashing scheme. The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that the county employee Maria L. Ceniceros arrested Friday has been charged with 113 counts of forgery, identity theft, fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit forgery, according to county officials. The arrests are said to be part of a broader investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Dona Ana plagued with corruption
Dona Ana County has been plagued with corruption charge after corruption charge. Over the past five years many allegations of voter fraud, especially from the area east of Las Cruces made national news. Just three years ago Sunland Park had quite the voter fraud scandal break– there were a dozen arrests and the sensational story was the “gift that kept on giving.”
“It started with extortion charges,” said then-Dona Ana Third Judicial District Attorney Amy Orlando, “And from that it then led us to the voter fraud cases.”
Speaking of Sunland Park voter fraud Sunland Park resident Gerardo Hernandez, a mayoral candidate who lost his race for mayor to the new mayor arrested on voter fraud charges said, “They pressured the poor, old people, the people who don’t know English. They were forced to sign without knowing what they were signing. It’s incredible, it’s disgusting.” Similarly in many instances, the poor and less educated are those who suffer the most from fraud and cheating…
In 2014 Representative Democrat Mary Helen Garcia lost the Democrat primary to a hard-Left progressive who targeted her for reaching across the aisle. Though she staunchly opposed voter ID measures while chairing the House Voters and Elections Committee, even Rep. Garcia brought up “high number of absentee votes from Sunland Park” when she narrowly lost the primary. What? Hinting at fraud?! Ya gotta be kidding!
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports further on the past week’s arrests
“Ceniceros said the payees were stolen identities and they would not know the checks were being cashed,” court records state. “When he (Hernandez) asked how many checks she was talking about she indicated hundreds.”
Maria Ceniceros then said she was set to receive 25 percent of the money.
Hernandez, not wanting to alert Ceniceros he planned to tell police, told her he’d consider the proposal.
Hernandez then went to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident, which sparked the investigation. DASO investigators then began working with him to glean more information and possibly “have a delivery of the tax refund checks,” court records state.
A few days later, Hernandez contacted Maria Ceniceros, who said her daughter was set to deliver some checks from Juárez, and Maria Ceniceros would bring them to work on May 18, according to court documents.
Maria Ceniceros allegedly showed three checks to Hernandez and specified he’d get a 15 percent cut, and she’d keep 10 percent, documents state. Later, she gave them to him signed, along with notarized affidavits that would be needed for Hernandez to cash them.
Instead of cashing the checks, Hernandez took them to DASO investigators.
DASO then took copies of the Department of Treasury-issued checks to federal agents, who indicated they wanted to join the investigation.
The IRS agreed to “front the money” that was supposed to be delivered to Hernandez, according to court records.
Maria Ceniceros relayed to Hernandez that someone from Mexico planned to travel to her house in Anthony to “pick up the money and deliver several more checks the same day,” court records state.
Hernandez gave the money to Ceniceros, and authorities tracked her to her home last Friday. That sting operation resulted in the arrests of Maria Ceniceros, Denise Ceniceros, Francisco Ceniceros and Gutierrez Torrez, according to court records.
With something that ended up sweeping Sunland Park starting little, it demands the question– where will this incident end? And can County Clerk Lynn Ellins really have all this going on under his nose and not know what is going on?! What kind of “leadership” has he demonstrated– apparently Ellins would rather focus on redefining marriage than enforcing the law and running his office in accordance with the law.
Aren’t we lucky that this is Ellins’ second term and county officials are term-limited to two consecutive terms?
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