Man pleads guilty to felony forgery

Published 7:08 am Friday, April 9, 2010

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.

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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.