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ID thefts lead to Austin site

By Tim Ruzek

truzek@postbulletin.com

Reports from Texas residents of ID theft have led to the arrests of two people in Austin allegedly working at the local slaughterhouse under those false identities.

In unrelated criminal complaints, Hortencia Silva-Gonzalez, 20, of Austin, and Rosendo Rodriguez-Cuellar, 39, of Albert Lea, are charged in Mower District Court with felony counts related to using false ID documents, including U.S. Social Security cards.

Silva-Gonzalez, 309 First Ave. N.W., Apt. B, appeared Thursday in court, where bail was set at $50,000 without conditions or $10,000 with conditions, records show. She faces two counts of aggravated forgery and one count of forgery.

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On Feb. 27, a judge set bail for Rodriguez-Cuellar at $50,000 without conditions or $25,000 with conditions. He faces single counts of aggravated forgery and identity theft.

According to one of the complaints, a Quality Pork Processors personnel official in Austin contacted police Tuesday to report that a Plainview, Texas, officer had called about a possible case of ID theft involving a QPP employee working under a 29-year-old woman’s identity.

The woman had reported to police in Texas that her identity was being used at QPP although she had never worked in or visited Austin.

Police confronted Silva-Gonzalez at QPP, where she eventually admitted her true identity, the complaint says. Silva-Gonzalez allegedly told police she came to the United States illegally from Mexico two to three years ago and obtained a U.S. Social Security card and matching birth certificate from her aunt, who is now deceased.

Silva-Gonzalez applied for and obtained a Minnesota state ID card in 2006 under the false identity.

In the other complaint, a police investigator from Rosenberg, Texas, contacted Austin police Feb. 26 to report that a 35-year-old man was alleging his identity was being used at QPP.

The man came Feb. 16 to police in Texas to report the federal Internal Revenue Service contacted him and said he had $6,963 in unclaimed wages from 2006 at QPP. He told police he had worked at an energy firm for 10 years and lost his wallet, which had his Social Security card, about six or seven years ago.

QPP fired Rodriguez-Cuellar after police notified the company. He was arrested when he returned to QPP.

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Rodriguez-Cuellar, who entered the United States illegally from Mexico, allegedly told police he found the Social Security card about nine years ago in Houston and had been working at QPP under the false name for six years. He allegedly said he bought a false Texas state ID card under the identity to go with the Social Security card.

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