TAYLORSVILLE — Eleven people are in jail following near-simultaneous raids on two homes where authorities say illegal immigrants were manufacturing fraudulent documents and selling guns.
The Utah SECURE Strike Force executed two search warrants Friday at 3534 W. Dutch Apple Cove (4740 South) and 4766 S. Blueridge Circle (3270 West), said assistant Utah attorney general Jake Taylor. The raids came after surveillance operations on both locations that included undercover purchases of guns at the Blueridge address.
"We suspected that there was a connection between the two houses because one person that we observed at the gun house was later observed at the (Dutch Apple Cove house)," Taylor said.
Ricardo Chacon-Rasa, 33, Martin Garcia-Garcia, 34, Leobardo Gonzales-Escobar, 35, and Silvia Karina Aguilar Gonzales, 34, were all arrested at the home on Blueridge Circle and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of multiple weapons and forgery charges. A teenager at the home also was taken into custody for investigation of drug and weapons charges.
Six people were arrested at the Dutch Apple Cove address, where Taylor said agents discovered a sophisticated document mill.
"They found computer equipment and other equipment used to make fraudulent identification documents," he said.
In addition to the equipment, Taylor said agents also found numerous phony permanent resident ID cards, Social Security cards and driver's licenses.
Alfredo Barranco-DeJesus, 27, Juan Arreola Bustamante, 26, Alejandro Lopez-Anduro, 25, Julio Cesar Quintana, 27, Christian Ruiz-Vega, 23, and Jose Urewa Valencia, 21, were each booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of 20 counts of forgery, 20 counts of possession of a forged writing, and one count of engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity.
"We could have booked them on more than 20 counts of forgery and possession of a forged writing, but that would have been overkill," Taylor said.
Nine of the 11 individuals arrested by the strike force are being detained on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds, according to Taylor.
The SECURE Strike Force was launched in June. It targets illegal immigrants who commit "major crimes" and operates out of the Utah Attorney General's Office. State lawmakers created and funded the group during the 2009 legislative session with a two-year, $1.7 million pledge of federal stimulus monies to help pay for operations.
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