Seventeen-Count Indictment Filed in Illegal Concealed Carry Weapons Permits Case
SAN JUAN, PR—On Thursday, December 11, 2014, a federal grand jury returned a 17-count indictment against former Lieutenant and head of Bayamón CIC, Puerto Rico Police Department Sergio Calderón-Marrero for conspiracy to commit identity fraud, unlawful production of identification documents, aggravated identity theft, attempted witness tampering and attempted obstruction of justice, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) are in charge of the investigation.
Calderón-Marrero would obtain forged firearms handling course certificates, forge signatures of his clients, and use the notary seal of a deceased Attorney and Notary Public to circumvent the appropriate legal process and obtain Concealed Carry Weapons Permits illegally for his clients.
According to the accusation, from in or about January 2012, continuing through February 18, 2014, Calderón-Marrero conspired to knowingly cause, without lawful authority, Puerto Rico Concealed Carry Weapons Permits to be created illegally. Calderón-Marrero charged clients and collected money for services and fees that were not rendered and submitted forged documents to PRPD authorities. Calderón-Marrero’s scheme, which involved false handling course certificates and forged sworn statements, knowingly caused the transfer, possession, and use without lawful authority, the means of identification of another person which contained the name and signature of the PRPD Superintendent, the name of permit cardholders, and the name of a deceased Puerto Rico Notary Public and Attorney.
The purpose and object of the conspiracy was to have Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Concealed Carry Weapons Permits be issued falsely for pecuniary gain.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luke Cass and José Capó-Iriarte. If convicted, the defendant could face up to 15 years in prison for unlawful production of identification documents, up to 15 years for conspiracy to commit identity fraud, up to 20 years for attempted witness tampering, and two additional years for aggravated identity theft. The defendant is also facing a forfeiture allegation for a sum of money representing the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of the scheme totaling approximately $105,000.00.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.