Federal prosecutors in North Carolina have been investigating allegations of voter fraud for the past 18 months and announced on Friday, March 19, that 24 more people have been charged.
In the Eastern District of North Carolina, agents from Homeland Security Investigations’ Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force launched an investigation into voter fraud.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced on Friday that four defendants had been charged with making false claims of U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote in the 2016 general election. Eight people already face up to a year in prison and fines up to $100,000 for voting while not American citizens. Two are from Haiti, and the others are from Poland, Germany, El Salvador, Italy, Mexico, and Korea according to The News & Observer. It went on to say “a 26-year-old woman from Mexico, Diana Patricia Franco-Rodriguez, was indicted on charges of fraud, voting by a noncitizen, and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents. She faces up to 26 years in prison and a $350,000 fine,” according to the news release from United States Attorney office.
“Gabriela Guzman-Miguel, 26, and Jose Abraham Navarro, 42, both of Mexico, are accused to have voted despite lacking the legal status to do so,” the Epoch Times reported. “The list described both as aliens or immigrants.”
Honduras, France, Yemen, Iraq, Nigeria, and Canada were among the 15 countries represented in the case. In September 2019 the case was opened with the first charges and arrests continued to just this month.
“The charges include making false claims of U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote, naturalization fraud, and fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents as it relates to the registration to vote, and false statements in immigration proceedings,” the statement from the U.S. attorney’s office for eastern North Carolina reads.
Another in the group is Ramon Esteban Paez-Jerez who falsified documents to become an American citizen and voted in the 2016 election in Wake County. He could get up to 11 years in prison and a $350,000 fine. He will be sentenced in December.
In August 2018, 19 foreign nationals were charged with voter fraud-related charges. Charges against foreign nationals from Mexico, Italy, Korea, Haiti, Panama, Korea, El Salvador, Germany, Poland, Guyana, Nigeria, Japan, and the Dominican Republic were announced by United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The foreign nationals were charged with voting by an alien and making a false claim to citizenship in the United States.