Previously deported man now charged with carrying fake IDs

By Tim Ruzek

Using another man’s identity, Juan Carlos Vera-Vargas allegedly lived and worked in Austin after returning illegally to the United States.

After being arrested June 13 by Austin police, Vera-Vargas now faces two felony counts of aggravated forgery in Mower District Court.

Vera-Vargas allegedly had a Minnesota ID card in the name of Jose Rivera and a Minnesota driver’s license in the name of Rogelio Garcia. He also allegedly used Jose Luis Casillas as an identity.


On Friday, Judge Fred Wellmann set conditional bail at $10,000 for Vera-Vargas, court documents show. He returns to court June 28.

According to a criminal complaint, Vera-Vargas, 35, previously was deported for committing a drug crime in Nobles County, in southwestern Minnesota.

Austin police initially received information that Vera-Vargas was selling drugs in and around Austin, and that he was using the alias Rogelio Garcia to live and work in Austin, the complaint says.

Vera-Vargas was living at 908 Sixth Ave. N.W. with his wife or girlfriend, several children and his 33-year-old brother, the complaint says.

Around 6:10 a.m. June 13, police stopped Vera-Vargas while he was driving with a suspended license, the complaint says. He allegedly identified himself as Rogelio Garcia. Police found a Minnesota driver’s license, a bank card and a Quality Pork Processors work card on Vera-Vargas in the name of Rogelio Garcia, the complaint says. Vera-Vargas gave his true name while being booked into jail.

Authorities searched Vera-Vargas’ home and vehicles more than an hour later. They found many documents as evidence, including some establishing that Vera-Vargas was working at QPP under the Garcia alias but was having problems with the Internal Revenue Service for using the name.

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