Dominican National Commits Fraud, Alien Smuggling and Conspiracy

Rafael Joaquin Beltre-Beltre, a Dominican national, was sentenced to 63 months in prison for his leading role in trafficking the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and corresponding identity documents. On Sept. 4, 2012, Beltre-Beltre pleaded guilty in Puerto Rico to one count of conspiracy to commit identification fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling for financial gain and one count of international money laundering.

“Fake I.D.’s”, are very common throughout Florida and are common in many crimes, both for simple crimes like underage sale of alcohol, to complicated crimes, such as International Drug or alien Smuggling. The making, selling, or possession of a false identification card is a felony under Florida Statute 322.212. Most of the time, this statute is applied to college students and teenagers either attempting to buy alcohol underage, or enter a club underage. For the fortunate, when the underage adolescent is caught, the ID will be confiscated by the bouncer and the individual, banned. imagesdsmuggling.jpg

If the police become involved and the individual is arrested, the accused is now exposed to a felony conviction on their criminal record. The State wishes to crack down on those who use fraudulent IDs, charging teenagers and 20 year olds with a felony for trying to get into a club underage. Unfortunately, most do not know the severity of consequences for the felony they are committing.

Many times, these identification fraud charges are coupled with theft or drug crimes. Many criminal organizations will use false identification in order to accomplish their goals, even giving fictitious identification to avoid being discovered or being arrested during an active crime, such as a theft, drug, or fraud crime. Some think that this is the avenue to pursue in order to keep one’s name clean and still commit the crime; however, the consequence is just one more charge and more time that one will be exposed to serving.

The most common type of smuggling that occurs in Jacksonville are drug smuggling cases. Drug smuggling is a common criminal act that involves the illegal transportation of common substances such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin, as well as prescription drugs like oxycontin and other controlled substances defined under Florida law. Florida is attractive for drug smugglers, both intrastate and internationally, because of Florida’s extensive coastal borders, the large number of international ports that allow passengers to arrive from many countries via aircraft, and Florida’s extremely close range to other countries known for having drug operations in the United States.

Many criminal drug organizations enlist the help of willing participants to smuggle illegal substances into Florida for distribution throughout the United States. Some smugglers will have false bottoms filled with drugs in their luggage. In other cases, unsuspecting citizens may become an active agent in a drug smuggling operation without even realizing it, being recruited for money to take a suitcase to a location, “no questions asked.”
There are a variety of penalties that may be assessed according to the factors surrounding one’s particular case, such as the quantity and particular type of drug being smuggled. However, all convictions will expose the accused to excessive fines and a long prison sentence; one should not challenge this legal beast alone. One needs an experienced attorney at one’s side.

Many times, a combination of criminal charges can stack a defendant with a long prison sentence. However, with the help of an experienced Jacksonville drug and fraud crimes defense attorney, one could persuade the Judge to render a much lighter punishment that would involve house arrest or an intensive probation, rather than a long period of incarceration.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Dominican National Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for Leading Role in Identity Trafficking Scheme U.S. Department of Justice