WILMINGTON, N.C. – Nineteen foreign nationals were charged with unlawfully voting in the 2016 elections Friday, and a U.S. citizen was charged with aiding and abetting an alien to falsely claim U.S. citizenship to register to vote. The indictments follow an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) as part of a newly created Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
A federal grand jury in Wilmington charged the following foreign nationals with falsely claiming U.S. citizenship to register to vote in North Carolina, and also with unlawfully voting. If convicted, these individuals face maximum penalties of six years in federal prison, a $350,000 fine, and a term of supervised release:
- Jose Cruz Solano-Rodriguez, age 41, of Mexico;
- Guadalupe Espinosa-Pena, age 63, of Mexico;
- Sarah Emilia Silverio-Polanco, age 35, of the Dominican Republic;
- Elizabeth Nene Amachaghi, age 44, of Nigeria;
- Maria Rufina Castillo-Boswell, age 31, of Philippines;
- Dora Maybe Damatta-Rodriguez, age 64, of Panama;
- Elvis David Fullerton, age 54, of Grenada;
- Olive Agatha Martin, age 71, of Guyana;
- Kaoru Sauls, age 54, of Japan.
Separately, criminal charges of voting by an alien were filed against the following foreign nationals. If convicted, these individuals face maximum penalties of twelve months in federal prison, a $100,000 fine, and a term of supervised release:
- Jose Jaime Ramiro-Torres, age 52, of El Salvador;
- Juan Francisco Landeros-Mireles, age 64, of Mexico;
- Alessandro Cannizzaro, age 46, of Italy;
- Dieudonne Soifils, age 71, of Haiti;
- Hyo Suk George, age 69, of Korea;
- Merius Jean, age 54, of Haiti;
- Rosemarie Angelika Harris, age 60, of Germany; and
- Daniel Tadeusz Romanowski, age 39, of Poland.
Separately, criminal charges of fraud and misuse of visas, and unlawfully voting, were filed against Diana Patricia Franco-Rodriguez, age 26, of Mexico. If convicted, Franco-Rodriguez faces maximum penalties of 26 years in federal prison, a $350,000 fine, and a term of supervised release.
Denslo Allen Paige, age 66, is charged with aiding and abetting Espinosa-Pena in falsely claiming U.S. citizenship to register to vote. If convicted, Paige faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being prosecuted federally by the office of Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.