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Albuquerque Woman Indicted on Charges of Helping Illegal Immigrants Obtain New Mexico Driver's Licenses by Using False Residency Documents

Press Release

Location: Farmington, NM

An Albuquerque woman already indicted for drug trafficking is now facing over 300 counts of felony charges for creating fake residency documents so illegal immigrants could obtain a New Mexico driver's licenses. A grand jury for the Second Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County has returned an indictment against Ana Hernandez. The 324 count indictment contains 84 counts of Forgery; 84 counts of Conspiracy to commit forgery; 39 counts of making false affidavit perjury; 39 counts of conspiracy to commit making false affidavit perjury; 39 counts of altering, forging or making a fictitious license and 39 counts of conspiracy to commit altering, forging or making a fictitious license. "This is yet another egregious case that shows we're attracting criminal elements to our state for the sole purpose of obtaining driver's licenses," Governor Susana Martinez said. "Our driver's licenses have been compromised and we're not only putting our residents at risk, but those living in other states as well. New Mexicans overwhelmingly agree that we must put an end to this dangerous system and that is why I'm calling on the legislature to repeal the driver's license law during next month's special legislative session." "This indictment is the result of a team effort. We certainly appreciate the hard work of the Department of Taxation and Revenue. Ms. Hernandez will get her day in court, as well as the citizens of New Mexico," stated Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.

State Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla said, "Until we stop issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, we will continue to have individuals like Ms. Hernandez gaming our system. We have become an hornet's nest for criminal elements seeking our driver's licenses." Hernandez, 45, is accused of providing false residency documents to foreign nationals for the purpose of obtaining New Mexico driver's licenses. The indictment alleges that she translated documents for foreign nationals, fraudulently signing the translated documents using different names and then notarizing the signatures.

Hernandez helped 29 foreign nationals in obtaining New Mexico driver's licenses by using her previous business address on Albuquerque's Central Avenue for their residential addresses. She's accused of signing as both the translator and the notary on birth certificates translated from Spanish into English, despite a change in Motor Vehicle Division policy requiring two different individuals to sign. A birth certificate is one type of document that can be used as proof of identity in applying for a New Mexico driver's license.

Once MVD changed its policy, Hernandez began using three aliases to sign as the translator. She then signed her own name as the notary. After these allegations were first revealed Governor Martinez revoked Hernandez's notary authority. MVD has also cancelled all 29 licenses issued to foreign nationals that were obtained with the help from Hernandez. In May, Hernandez was arrested by the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) for alleged involvement in a heroin ring. A search warrant was executed at her place of business and a criminal complaint was filed by BCSO based on the findings obtained during the arrest and search warrant. Hernandez was indicted on charges of trafficking controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance, racketeering and child abuse/abandonment. The case that resulted in today's indictment, as well as the drug case, are being prosecuted by the Second Judicial District Attorney's office in Albuquerque.

Today's indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department's Tax Fraud Investigations Division.

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