CUSTOMS

Agents arrest man for false claim

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have arrested of a citizen of Columbia who made a false claim to American citizenship.

Agents said a 20-year-old man claiming to be Luis Daniel Mendez-Nieves, tried to cross the Rainbow Bridge on Friday. The man presented a Florida drivers license as proof of identity and advised the primary Customs officer that he was a U.S. citizen born in Puerto Rico.  

He then told the officer that he was enroute to Montreal, Quebec, to visit his girlfriend, but was refused entry by Canadian authorities because he could not provide an address for his girlfriend and did not have documentary proof of his citizenship.

During a secondary interview, Mendez-Nieves again claimed he was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. However, he was unable to answer simple questions that would confirm his identity and residency.

Agents then searched his car and discovered a Colombian passport, a photo copy of a Puerto Rican birth certificate and a U.S. Social Security card. The photocopy of the Puerto Rican birth certificate and Social Security card had the name Luis Daniel Mendez-Nieves printed on them.

However, the Colombian passport’s biographical page contained a photo of the man and the name Daniel Ibagon Cardenas.

The man then admitted that he was Daniel Ibagon Cardenas, a Columbian national with no legal immigration status to be in United States. Record checks showed that Ibagon Cardenas entered the United States legally in January 2002, as a visitor for six months, but failed to depart after the duration of his stay.

He told agents he purchased the photocopied Puerto Rican birth certificate and Social Security card for approximately $3,000 from an unknown man in Orlando, Fla. The subject stated that he then obtained a Florida Drivers License with the fraudulent documentation.

Ibagon Cardenas was charged with making a false claim to U.S. citizenship, fraud and false statement. He was also charged with misuse of a passport, as he had attempted to obtaina US passport usinghis fraudulently obtained documentation.

Niagara Falls

• ASSAULT: Police are investigating an assault in the 1800 block of Niagara Avenue. A 23-year-old woman told officers that she was punched in the face by a man during an argument at 3 p.m. Sunday.

• ARREST: A Falls man was arrested for violating an order of protection. Christopher A. Porter, 18, 1765 Welch Ave., Apt. 2, was charged with second-degree criminal contempt. Porter is accused of following a woman in the area of 19th Street and Pine Avenue. The woman has an order of protection against Porter.

• ROBBERY: Police are investigating a home invasion robbery in the 400 block of 20th Street. A 41-year-old woman told officers that as she walked up to a house at 8:40 p.m. Saturday, two suspects came up from behind, hit her in the head with a handgun and pushed her inside. In the house, the woman told police the suspects threatened her at gunpoint and took $250, a pound of marijuana and a digital scale.

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