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ID theft suspect pleads guilty, likely faces deportation

An Austin man likely faces deportation after he pleaded guilty to identity theft Thursday in Mower County court.

Felix Lopez-Gomez, 51, also faces two charges of felony aggravated forgery, to which he did not enter pleas Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint, a 46-year-old Texas man called Mower County authorities in late March to report that his tax documents listed “Quality Pork Processors” in Austin as an employer, which led to a reported $3,000 in unpaid income taxes. The man said he had never worked at QPP or even been to Minnesota.

Authorities investigated the man’s name and found it linked to a man living at 21950 581st Ave. in Austin. They also contacted QPP and requested work documents in the name, which were supplied.

On April 9, officers went to QPP to interview the worker, who admitted that his true name was Lopez-Gomez and that he had purchased a birth certificate and Social Security card in the other man’s name. Lopez-Gomez said he made the purchase several years ago when he came to the U.S. to work on a farm, but he did not identify where the farm was or who sold him the documents, the complaint states.

Lopez-Gomez was shown a photo of the man whose identify he had allegedly used fraudulently and said he never met him. Lopez-Gomez was then arrested.

A sentencing date has not been set in the case.