INS nabs 3 in Aspen |

INS nabs 3 in Aspen

John Colson

Two Latino women and an Australian woman were arrested Thursday in Aspen by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, according to local authorities.

The names of the three women are not being released because the case is still under investigation, said Aspen police officer Jim Crowley.

According to Crowley, several INS agents came to town this week at his request, after he learned that a local woman was distributing phony U.S. Social Security cards to illegal immigrants so they could get a job here.

Crowley said the investigation began at the Aspen Lodging Co., which operates the Fasching Haus lodge on Galena Street. He was investigating a fire that happened at the lodge in January, when he came across information about the social security cards scam, he said.

The officer learned the identity of a Latino woman, in her late 30s or early 40s, who reportedly was distributing or selling the cards to anyone who needed one.

“She was the middle person,” he said of the woman, explaining that the manufacturer appears to be located outside Colorado.

When Crowley, detective Glen Schaffer and several INS agents visited the woman at her Aspen home, they found two other women, one Latino and one Australian, also in possession of “bogus Social Security cards.” All three were taken into custody.

“It was not a raid,” Crowley stressed, explaining that the officers knocked on the door of the Latino woman’s residence, and were invited in to search the place.

The officers never went to the Fasching Haus, he said.

The women were taken to the Summit County Jail to spend Thursday night, on their way to an INS processing center in Denver. No local charges were filed against them.

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Posted: Friday, March 2, 2001

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