ICE lawyer in Seattle charged with stealing immigrant IDs

Posted: Updated:

By GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) - The chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle has been charged with stealing immigrants' identities.

Raphael A. Sanchez, who resigned from the agency effective Monday, faces one count of aggravated identity theft and another of wire fraud in a charging document filed Monday in U.S. District Court.

Prosecutors with the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section allege that Sanchez stole the identities of seven people "in various stages of immigration proceedings" to defraud credit card companies including American Express, Bank of America and Capital One.

Neither Sanchez nor his lawyer, Cassandra Stamm, immediately returned emails seeking comment Tuesday.

According to court rules, the type of charging document filed in Sanchez's case - called an information - can be filed only when a defendant has agreed to waive his or her right to be indicted by a grand jury; it's typically an indication that a plea agreement is in the works. The court's calendar showed that Sanchez is due to enter a plea Thursday.

The charging document contained few specifics about the allegations, but did give one example: It said that in April 2016, Sanchez sent an email from his government account to his Yahoo account that included personal information pertaining to a Chinese national identified only as R.H. The information Sanchez sent included an image of R.H.'s U.S. permanent resident card, the biographical page of R.H.'s Chinese passport and a utility bill in R.H.'s name.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."