Forger could be deported for second time

Published 8:29 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Austin man was convicted of felony forgery on Monday and may face deportation again.

Wenseslao Garcia-Chavez, 28, was sentenced to one year and one day at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud, but his sentence was stayed for ten years in exchange for ten years of supervised probation. Garcia-Chavez was also court-ordered to serve 80 hours of community service.

According to a criminal complaint, Garcia-Chavez was home in July 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.

Police also found trace amounts of methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine in the home’s basement, but the felony drug charges were dropped.

Reporter Mike Rose contributed to this report.