Deported Felon Arrested Trying to Get Driver’s License

On July 28, 2010, Enforcement Officials from the Rhode Island DMV, Pawtucket Branch, contacted State Police Lincoln Woods Barracks reporting that a subject was at the DMV attempting to fraudulently obtain a Rhode Island driver's license.

DMV officials advised that the individual presented identification documents indicating he was a native of Puerto Rico. One of the documents presented by the individual was a counterfeit Puerto Rican driver's license.

An inquiry conducted by DMV officials determined that the license number displayed on the Puerto Rican license had been assigned by the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Puerto Rico to another individual.

Based on the information, the State Police was contacted; a Trooper was dispatched to the DMV and placed the individual under arrest for Presenting a False Document to a Public Official and Identity Fraud.

While at the barracks, the subject insisted that his true identity was accurately listed on the documents he presented at the DMV. When the arresting Trooper attempted to fingerprint the subject, he noticed that the tips of all of the subject's fingers were severely scarred.

After several attempts to obtain clear fingerprints to submit to the FBI for identification purposes, it became clearly evident that the scars on the subject's fingertips would greatly hinder the investigation. A State Police Detective, recently trained under the ICE 287(g) Immigration Authority and Delegation Program, responded to the barracks to assist in the investigation.

Investigators knew from their training and experience that criminals have been known to take extreme measures in an effort to thwart members of law enforcement in discovering their true identities. These measures include the intentional cutting or burning of the individual's fingertips so that the resulting scars will hinder the identification process normally accomplished by fingerprint comparison.

Once an individual is processed, their fingerprints are submitted electronically to the FBI and the Rhode Island Bureau of Criminal Identification. A comparison is then made within fingerprint databases containing records received from thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide on a daily basis. This process normally allows a law enforcement agency to positively identify the subject they have in their custody.

Due to the inability to identify the subject in custody using traditional methods, the State Police Detective elected to contact the Rhode Island Fusion Center, a component of the Rhode Island State Police that has access to a host of databases as well as connectivity to seventy-two (72) other Fusion Centers nationwide.

The Detective took a photograph of the subject in custody and sent it to the Rhode Island Fusion Center where the Fusion Center analysts conducted a comparison of the photograph to thousands of images contained in the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) database using facial recognition technology.

Within a matter of minutes the inquiry returned a probable match associated with four (4) separate driver's licenses, each having a photograph of the same individual who used a different name and date of birth on each license. Copies of the license images obtained from the Fusion Center were provided to the investigating Detective who quickly recognized the subject in the photographs as the same subject who was in custody.

The detective conducted criminal inquiries with the FBI and Massachusetts Criminal Histories Board using the names associated with the driver's licenses. This inquiry revealed that one of the names used was an alias for a Robert M. Cordero-Luciano, age 26, who had been arrested by the Fall River Police Department in May of 2005 on a charge of Trafficking a Controlled Substance, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Distribution of a Controlled Substance in a School Zone. Mr. Cordero-Luciano had subsequently been convicted of these charges and sentenced to eighteen (18) months incarceration in the State of Massachusetts.

The Detective, in his capacity as an ICE Task Force Officer, contacted the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center to conduct further inquiries. The Detective learned that Mr. Cordero-Luciano was a citizen of the Dominican Republic, and based on his narcotics conviction had been deported from the United States in October 2006 as an aggravated felon.

The Detective obtained a photograph of the individual who had been deported from ICE which matched the subject in custody. After being confronted with the information obtained, Mr. Cordero-Luciano confirmed his true identity with the Detective and admitted he had used various aliases to obtain the driver's licenses.

Mr. Cordero-Luciano also admitted to having re-entered the United States approximately two months ago after being deported. He stated that he enlisted the help of a human smuggler who he paid $5,000 to assist him in crossing the United States border from Mexico without inspection by Immigration Authorities.

Mr. Cordero-Luciano was arraigned by a Justice of the Peace at the Lincoln Woods Barracks on charges of Identity Fraud and Presenting a Fraudulent Document to a Public Official. After consulting with local ICE authorities, the Detective placed an Immigration Detainer on Mr. Cordero-Luciano ensuring that he be held at the ACI pending additional criminal and administrative charges.

The Rhode Island State Police credits the 287(g) program, as well as working partnerships with ICE and the Rhode Island DMV Enforcement Division in assisting in the apprehension, identification and prosecution of this individual.