Three arrested for identity theft, forgery

ST. GEORGE – Three men were arrested by police on Thursday for various charges related to identity fraud and forgery.

In each case, detectives received information that the men used false identification to obtain employment at a local business, St. George Police Capt. Kyle Whitehead said.

The Fraudulent Identity and Security Threat task force conducted the investigation and made the arrests. FIST is a task force that includes officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, St. George Police and Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Whitehead said.

Marco Mendez, 31, of St. George, Jose A. Villalovos, 37, of Washington City, and Jairo Saaverda-Cruz, 23, of St. George, were all arrested for third degree felony counts of possession of forgery writing/device and second degree felonies for identity theft.

Officers received information that each of the men had used false or fake identification cards that belonged to someone else. The identification cards used included social security cards and U.S. permanent resident cards.

In about 90 percent of these cases the false identification cards are obtained in Las Vegas or California, Whitehead said. There are people who sell these cards and sometimes they look legitimate and sometimes they don’t, he said.

All three men had been employed at the same local business, Whitehead said. Mendez had been employed since October 2011 and had earned at least $24,900 in 2013, while Saaverda-Cruz had earned at least $20,000 during the same year, according to charging documents.

All three men were booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility on Thursday, bail was set for Villalovos on two felony counts at $15,000, while Mendez and Saaverda-Cruz are being held on four felonies each with their bail standing at $30,000.

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  • Ken January 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Identify the business that doesn’t use E-Verify, so I may spend my money at places that do!

  • Craig January 4, 2014 at 5:39 am

    So, they obtained fake i.d.’s to obtain EMPLOYMENT and meanwhile in Hildale, the plygs are “bleeding the beast.” The welfare kings and queens are really having a good laugh over this.

    • Ken January 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I really needed a good laugh, please keep up the asinine comments! SMH

  • Combat Vet and Democrat January 4, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I do wonder why the article gave the names of the three who used fake IDs to get jobs but, did not give the name of the company where they worked. None of the three seemed to be getting rich but, they were working.

  • Becka January 4, 2014 at 9:25 am

    They were all three employed, paying taxes, providing for them selfs, and returning wages into the community. Yet we go after them and leave others to work under the table, abuse the system, and who knows what else? There is do much more than we know.

  • Steve January 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Unprofessional reporting to not provide the name of the business. But typical.

  • Anonymous January 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I’m confused about what I just read? These men stole someone else identifications then they used that information to obtain jobs, come on seriously I have a hard time believing that.

  • Combat Vet and Democrat January 4, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    There is more of a story here. Why not look a little harder Scott? If the government knows everything; how is that these men were able to work for years. Why isn’t that within a few days or weeks at most Social Security or the IRS didn’t investigate the fact that more than one person was using the same social security number?

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