Austin men charged with felony forgery

Published 9:44 am Thursday, July 22, 2010

Three men who resided at a southwest Austin home were charged with felony forgery Wednesday and could face deportation.

Wenseslao Garcia-Chavez, 27, and Francisco Gonzalez Garcia, 21, were each apprehended on Monday and now await arraignments on July 29. The third man, 35-year-old Jose Garcia Chavez, is wanted on a Mower County warrant.

According to a criminal complaint, Garcia-Chavez was home on Monday when Austin police executed a search warrant at his 1006 Fourth Ave. SW home as part of an ongoing forgery investigation. Garcia-Chavez insisted he was “Domingo Berlanga” and provided a Missouri ID in that name.

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However, authorities found a wire transfer receipt and a Mexican voter registration card in his true name. Garcia-Chavez then admitted his true identity, the complaint states.

After his arrest, Garcia-Chavez told police that he came to the US illegally from Mexico eight months ago after being deported nine years ago. He said he purchased a birth certificate and a Social Security card in the “Berlanga” name from an unidentified man at an Austin park.

Garcia-Chavez also faces a felony drug charge for trace amounts of methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine found in the home’s basement, according to the complaint.

On the same day of that search, Garcia was pulled over and arrested for a DWI. He was detained and questioned about an Austin Packaging Company ID in the name “Richard Garcia” found in his vehicle. Garcia admitted he worked under an alias, according to a criminal complaint.

When the search was executed later Monday, officers found documents linked to the fraudulent “Garcia” alias, the complaint states.

Garcia told police that he purchased a fraudulent birth certificate and Social Security card two years ago. He said he had been in the U.S. illegally for 13 years, the complaint states.

Documents linked to the third man, Chavez, and his purported alias were also found during the search, but he was not home. Garcia-Chavez said Chavez was his brother and that he had stayed at the home for a few months. However, Garcia-Chavez said his brother had returned to Mexico recently and he wasn’t sure if Chavez had re-entered the U.S.