Night of drinking may lead to deportation

Published 7:16 am Monday, July 12, 2010

A man residing in Austin could be deported for the second time after being found passed out drunk downtown on July 5.

Sergio Elias Vanegas, 37, was charged with two counts of felony forgery Thursday in Mower County court. Previously deported in 2003, Vanegas will be held locally for federal immigration officials to process.

According to a criminal complaint, Vanegas was found laying along the bike path on South Main Street at around 12:00 a.m. July 5. He was taken in to jail, where he registered a 0.206 blood-alcohol reading. The legal driving limit, by comparison, is 0.08.

Officers found a wallet on Vanegas that had a Minnesota ID card in the name “Rodney Anthony Ortiz.” They also found a Hormel Foods employee card in the same name.

On Wednesday, officers spoke with Vanegas in jail. He disclosed his true identity, and admitted that he had come to the U.S. illegally in 1997, the complaint states.

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