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UNITED STATES v. COELLO

October 12, 1995

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiffs, against STEFAN COELLO, a/k/a "Stefan Waldemar Coello-Ubilla," Defendant.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: BATTS

 DEBORAH A. BATTS, United States District Judge.

 The Government has moved this Court to rule, prior to preparation of the presentence report, whether certain items found in the defendant's possession constitute "identification documents" or, in the alternative, whether defendant attempted to possess, with the intent to transfer or use, identification documents within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 1028. For the following reasons, the Government's motion is granted in part and denied in part.

 I. FINDINGS OF FACT

 On June 5, 1995, the defendant Stefan Coello pled guilty before this Court to a one-count information charging him with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028, based on his sale of three sets of counterfeit social security cards and alien registration cards to a confidential informant on two separate occasions in October and November 1994. (Government's Mem. Law at 1; Def.'s Mem. of Law at 2). Coello pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement with the Government. (Government's Mem. Law at 1).

 The evidence in the current motion regards separate circumstances from those underlying the guilty plea. In the summer of 1994, the INS obtained a black carrying bag that subsequently proved to belong to the defendant. (decl. of Matthew Gordon at 5). The INS obtained the bag from Ms. Victoria Olivieri, who had purchased a vehicle at a New York City Sheriff's Office auction in May 1994. Id. The vehicle had been seized by the Sheriff's Office on March 31, 1994, for nonpayment of parking tickets. Id. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles' records indicated that the car was owned by the defendant. Id. In the trunk of that vehicle Ms. Olivieri found a bag and gave it to the police who subsequently transferred it to the INS. Id. The bag contained:

 
-four enlarged color photographs of a counterfeit I-551 alien registration card with the defendant's photograph but a different name and INS alien number,
 
-a small, identification-sized photograph of a male, to which was paper-clipped a signature and biographical information,
 
-one bundle of 73 clear, blank laminates,
 
-one bundle of 41 laminates imprinted with gold Department of Justice/Immigration and Naturalization Service seals, and
 
-one bundle of 24 laminates imprinted with an outline of the continental United States and text.

 (decl. Matthew Gordon at 6). The Defendant does not deny that the bag belonged to him. (Def.'s Mem. Law at 2).

 Each laminate in the bundle of 41 laminates resembles the front laminate of an I-688 Temporary Resident card and each laminate in the bundle of 24 laminates resembles the back laminate of an I-688 card. (decl. Matthew Gordon at 6). The I-688 Temporary Resident cards are issued by the INS pursuant to 8 C.F.R. pt. 210 (1995) to agricultural workers who meet specific qualifications. Id. at 2. The card enables workers to reside and work in the United States as well as to travel abroad and return to the United States. Id.

 The I-688 card consists of three parts: an internal card which contains the temporary resident's picture, name, date of birth, signature, fingerprint and an unique INS "A" number, which is inserted between two laminates; Id. at 3, a front laminate containing DOJ/INS seals placed so that one full seal is in the middle of the laminate and another seal is split, so that part of it is at the top of the card and the other part is at the bottom of the card; (2d decl. Matthew Gordon at 2), and a back laminate containing text describing the function of the I-688 card, an outline of the continental United States in green ink, the text "FORM I-688 MAY 87" in green ink at the margin of the laminate, and outlines of the United States in black-light ink, again placed so that one full outline is in the middle of the laminate and a second outline is split so that part of it appears at ...


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