Noe Rodriguez, a 33 year old Boyds, Maryland man has been charged by indictment for allegedly failing to comply with federal wage, hour and records regulations under the Davis-Bacon Act. In addition to these charges, the Government is accusing Rodriguez of engaging in identity fraud and aggravated identity theft and misuse of a social security number. The misuse of a social security number charges alleges that Rodriguez allegedly provided a false social security number on his Maryland driver’s license renewal application, knowing that the social security number belonged to his minor son.

Rodriguez is currently charged with violations of 18 USC 1001 for false statements; violations of 18 USC 1028(a)(1),(a)(7) and 18 USC 981 (a)(1)(c) for the identity fraud charges, and 42 USC 408(a)(7)(B) for the misuse of an social security number. The 18 USC 1028 charge is particularly serious carrying with it a term of imprisonment up to 15 years. In order for the Government to sustain a conviction on that charge, they must prove that Rodriguez knowingly possessed or used a means of identification of another person without lawful authority, and intended to commit or assist in an unlawful activity, and that the means of identification was in or affected commerce between one state and another state or between a state of the United States, or the means of transactions was possessed or transferred through the mail in some way.

In order to obtain a conviction in this matter, the Government must prove that the unlawful activity was a violation of federal law or a felony under applicable state or local law. However, a § 1028(a)(7) conviction may not require evidence of an underlying crime, but rather only proof that the defendant committed the unlawful act with the requisite criminal intent, as opposed to the crime actually being committed. The means of identification term has been construed broadly and may even include means such as signatures. Finally, because Section 1028(b) provides for various enhanced statutory maximum penalties in certain circumstances, a special verdict form may need to be submitted to the jury regarding the presence or absence of such facts.

Currently Rodriguez is represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Maryland. At a detention hearing on November 21, 2013, Magistrate Judge William Connelly ordered that Rodriguez, a Mexican native, be detained pending disposition of the matter. One of the main reasons for this was that Rodriguez is believed to have entered the U.S. illegally, and has been residing in the D.C. Metro area unlawfully.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in Federal Criminal Defense matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or ferrari@ferrariassociatespc.com.

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