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Tipsheet

Previously Deported Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Stealing Social Security Numbers, Welfare Fraud

The Associated Press reports that an illegal alien has pleaded guilty to "re-entering the U.S. illegally, then using stolen Social Security numbers and identities to obtain health care and welfare benefits."

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According to a press release in July 2018 Dominican national, Carlos Jose Portes-Ortiz "was deported from the United States in February 2009, after having been sentenced in June 2007 to 37 months in federal prison for conspiracy to import 100 grams or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine. Portes-Ortiz was arrested in June 2005 at Newark Liberty International Airport after arriving from the Dominican Republic." 

 Portes-Ortiz, who apparently uses several aliases, was then again arrested in November 2015 after "Providence Police responded to a traffic accident and encountered Portes-Ortiz, who allegedly presented officers with a Dominican driver’s license in the name of another person. He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and driving after denial, suspension or revocation of a driver’s license." 

Then in March 2017, the man "was arrested in Dedham, MA, after allegedly attempting to purchase over $1,000 worth of iPhone equipment using a driver’s license depicting his photograph and a credit card both in the name of a female. At the time of his arrest, Portes-Ortiz was found to be in possession of a Rhode Island Neighborhood Health Plan card, a Rhode Island EBT card for SNAP benefits, a Rhode Island identification card, a Puerto Rican driver’s license and a bank debit card, some depicting his photograph but all in names other than his own. It was later determined through fingerprints that the person arrested was actually Portes-Ortiz."

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On Wednesday, Portes-Ortiz officially pleaded guilty "to health care fraud, food stamp fraud, misuse of Social Security numbers, aggravated identity theft, and illegal re-entry." 

Advocates for border security have long argued that building a wall along the southern border would help prevent repeat offenders from illegally entering the country and help keep out dangerous individuals bringing drugs and other criminal objects into America.  Portes-Ortiz's admission of guilt comes as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) "introduced a bill on Friday to fully fund President Trump’s proposed border wall, a chief campaign promise that Congress has struggled to deliver. The measure, dubbed the 'Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act,'" provides $23.4 billion to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, with $5.5 billion in funding available immediately," according to The Hill.

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