Brothers charged with felony forgery

Published 7:36 am Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two brothers living in Austin have been charged with felony forgery and could be deported, less than a week after a third brother was found drunkenly passed out in downtown Austin and charged with the same crime.

Carlos Elias-Vanegas, 27, and Alejandro Elias-Vanegas, 22, were each charged with multiple counts of the felony offense Friday in Mower County court. It would be up to federal officials whether the brothers are deported.

According to a criminal complaint, local authorities executed a search warrant at their 903 Seventh Place NE home on July 7. The complaint states that authorities found multiple documents, including pay stubs and ID cards, in several names linked to both men.

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After the two were arrested, they each admitted to police that they had entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico.

Alejandro Elias-Vanegas, who said he had been working at Austin’s Quality Pork Processors for five years, denied that he had ever been deported from the country. He also said that he did not use multiple aliases, the complaint states.

His brother, Carlos, admitted that he purchased birth certificates and Social Security cards in two different names — “Abraham Gomez” and “Marcos Reyna.”

The charges come four days after the third brother, Sergio Elias-Vanegas, 37, was found passed out along the bike path on South Main Street at around midnight.

Sergio Elias-Vanegas was taken into jail, and officers found a wallet on him that had a Minnesota ID card in the name “Rodney Anthony Ortiz.” They also found a Hormel Foods employee card in the same name.

Sergio Elias-Vanegas later told police his true identity, and admitted that he had come to the U.S. illegally in 1997, a criminal complaint states.

He told police that he had purchased a birth certificate and Social Security card belonging to “Ortiz” for $1,500. Sergio Elias-Vanegas said his legitimate documents were located at home.

Carlos Elias-Vanegas told police that the three were among seven brothers, but that the rest resided in Mexico.