Judge to sentence 3 in major ID-fraud case

Published: Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 9:48 a.m.CDT

CHICAGO — A federal judge in Chicago is scheduled to sentence three men for one of the largest counterfeit-documentation schemes of its kind. It was centered in Chicago, but involved a murder in Mexico City.

There's little doubt about the outcome of Friday's hearing for Julio Leija-Sanchez, Manuel Leija-Sanchez and Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez. Each faces a mandatory life sentence.

The counterfeit operation was based in Chicago's Little Village and flourished for at least 15 years until authorities broke it up in 2007. It generated about $3 million in annual sales of fake Social Security cards, driver's licenses and other documents.

Aspects of the operation were conducted in Mexico. Prosecutors say Salazar-Rodriguez carried out the murder of an up-and-coming rival in Mexico City.

Jurors convicted the men of multiple charges last year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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