Charged with using a forged birth certificate while applying for a passport in Gillette, a Mexican immigrant could face 15 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
The U.S. Attorney for Wyoming has charged Christian Jesus Lopez Sanchez with lying to obtain a passport, which is a felony under federal law. The charging documents became available this week.
Lopez is in federal custody and is scheduled for Thursday preliminary hearing via Zoom.
“He stated on the application under penalty of perjury that he was born (in) 1982 in Phoenix, Arizona,” reads an evidentiary affidavit in the case, which alleges that the birth certificate was a fake.
When Lopez applied for his passport Aug. 8, he wrote that he was a U.S. citizen and provided a Phoenix birth certificate that Arizona authorities have deemed fraudulent in official documents since 2012.
He also provided a Wyoming driver’s license issued in 2019, the affidavit says.
But on Aug. 29 when authorities tried to find Lopez and confront him, they couldn’t locate him. Federal authorities arrested him last week.
Social Security Administration Didn't Call It Fake
The Social Security Administration verified the birth certificate as real when issuing Lopez a Social Security number in 2011, however, despite the state of Arizona determining soon after that the document was a fake, the affidavit says.
Federal investigators searched for the birth certificates of Lopez’s three children. These labelled Lopez as their father, and gave his birthplace as Las Varas, Nayarit, Mexico, the affidavit says.
Authorities in December asked the Mexican government to search its birth records for Lopez by his name, date of birth and the parental information he submitted when his child was born.
The Mexican government produced a Mexican birth certificate for Lopez