Man pleads guilty to felony forgery
An Austin man accused of working with a fraudulent name at a local business pleaded guilty to felony forgery Thursday.
Valente Hernandez-Bautista, 22, awaits sentencing in Mower County. The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which handles deportation, also typically gets involved in such cases after a defendant has been placed on “hold” by local authorities.
According to a criminal complaint, the incident stemmed from a 911 call from the Austin Public Library at around 7:45 p.m. on March 25 on a report of a man trying to get young girls into his car in the parking lot.
When police arrived, they were unable to find the suspect at the library. However, they were able to track the reported license plate number to Hernandez-Bautista and his residence on the 500 block of Second Street Northwest.
After staking out his residence, police were able to confront Hernandez-Bautista when he arrived later that night, the complaint states. Through a police interpreter, Hernandez-Bautista said he had been at the library but said he simply said “hello” to several girls. He added that he didn’t know why a complaint was made.
During this conversation, an officer noticed a Quality Pork Processors paystub in the name “Errain Gomez” sitting on a table. The officer asked Hernandez-Bautista if anyone else lived at the home. Hernandez-Bautista said two people did, but neither were “Gomez.”
The officer then asked Hernandez-Bautista if he was “Gomez.” The defendant said he wasn’t, but he did admit to going by “Rafael” when asked if he used any other names.
Hernandez-Bautista then proceeded to show officers a Missouri ID in the name “Rafael Cabido, Jr.,” the complaint states. He also provided a Social Security card, birth certificate and Northwoods Foods paystub in the same name.
Hernandez-Bautista said he bought the Social Security card and birth certificate for $800, then used them to obtain Minnesota and Missouri IDs. He claimed he had lost the Minnesota ID, though a records search did indicate that a Minnesota ID with Hernandez-Bautista’s picture was issued in the “Cabido, Jr.” name.
It is unclear from the complaint if authorities believe Hernandez-Bautista was using the “Gomez” name to work at QPP, or if the paystub belonged to someone else.