Man sentenced on forgery charge

Published 6:48 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An Austin man was sentenced on a felony forgery charge Monday in Mower County court, and he is being held for a likely deportation.

Arturo Alberto Morales Gonzalez, 33, was sentenced to 366 days in prison, stayed three years. However, his fate rests with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that handles illegal immigration issues. As part of his probation conditions, Gonzalez is ordered to cooperate with any ICE investigation and terms.

According to court records, an unidentified informant initially told Austin police in January that Gonzalez was working under an alias in Blooming Prairie and that his wife, 29-year-old Fabiola Esmeralda Gutierrez Castaneda, may have been working under an alias at the Austin Walmart.

Castaneda pleaded not guilty to felony forgery charges in February and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on April 15.

The informant said Gonzalez went by “Marvin Morales Somoyoa,” while Castaneda went by “Yanet Perez.” The informant also provided Mexican work credentials in their real names to police.

An Austin detective researched the “Somoyoa” name and found it linked to a Georgia address from 1996 to present, but also to multiple Austin addresses during that same time. No Austin listing was found in the Gonzalez name, according to records.

The informant told police the couple lived at 21990 581st Ave. in Austin. On Feb. 3, the detective set up to do surveillance at the address and observed a man he knew from the Mexican ID as Gonzalez leave the home in a car, according to court documents.

The car was pulled over a short while later, and the driver provided a Minnesota ID in the “Somoyoa” name. When the detective questioned him regarding his true identity, the man admitted to buying aliases and working in the country illegally.

His wife, who was a passenger, also admitted she had been using an alias to work illegally, according to records.

Both admitted to using two different aliases for different purposes — Gonzalez said he went by two fake names at two different jobs; Castaneda said she went by “Juanita Sandoval” while working at Walmart, and as her cousin “Janet Perez” to pay bills.

A subsequent police search of their home uncovered a number of documents, including work paystubs, linked to the false identities.