Wife turns husband in for forging immigrant papers
An Aspen man was arrested on Friday for forgery after his wife allegedly turned him in.
Alberto Esquivel Garcia, 35, is charged with a felony count of forgery. Police seized computer equipment, scanners, a shredder and other equipment and allegedly phony documents from his Cooper Avenue home.
According to the arrest warrant, his wife, Silvia Ocampo, told police that her husband has been making forged documents and identification, including Social Security cards, alien registration cards and Mexican driver’s licenses for people for three years.
She said that on Friday afternoon the two had a fight, and when she threatened to tell the police about his forgery, he told her that he already threw away all of the evidence. Ocampo said she later searched the house and found blank Social Security cards, a laminator and other equipment. At that point, she left the home and called police.
Ocampo said she and her husband have been together for 18 years and have been separated for the last two weeks. She allegedly told police Garcia is in the country illegally and that he had been talking about leaving the area with his daughter.
Police obtained a search warrant for the home at 820 1/2 E. Cooper Ave. and searched the house at 9 p.m. on Friday evening. According to the inventory list from the search, police found a shredder, printer, copier, fax and scanner, three laptops, a typewriter, blank cards for Social Security cards and resident alien cards.
The inventory also includes a laminating machine, floppy disks with Mexican driver’s license copies on it, forged Aspen Volunteer Fire Department IDs, identification in other names and a photo printer.
Also Friday afternoon, police pulled over a man who allegedly had a phony Mexican driver’s license that investigators suspect was created by Garcia. According to Garcia’s arrest warrant, Deputy Police Chief Glenn Schaffer stopped Erick Hernandez on Main Street for careless driving.
His identification had illegible printing and a blurry bar code on the back, police say. Hernandez allegedly told police he had purchased the driver’s license for $100 from a man at Boogie’s Diner, because he had been told the restaurant was the place to go to get identification cards.
Later that day, Ocampo told police her husband used to work at Boogie’s. Garcia is being held in the Pitkin County Jail on $5,000 bond.
According to Aspen Police Sgt. Steve Smith, Ocampo initially came into the police department complaining of a financial dispute with her husband. She was told it was something she’d have to take through the civil court process until she showed them her husband’s fake ID card.
“She just laid it out there, out of the blue,” Smith said.
Smith expects the INS to send at least one or two investigators to interrogate Garcia.
“This is really unusual,” Smith said of Garcia being turned in by his wife. “I think there were long-standing issues with this couple. And I think it came to a head Friday.”
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