Eastern District of Louisiana | Nicaraguan Woman Pleads Guilty to Illegally Using Social Security Number

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that JUNIETH BETANCO-HERNANDEZ, age 19, plead guilty on October 10, 2023 to illegally using a social security number, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(7)(B).

According to court documents, BETANCO-HERNANDEZ was first encountered, and subsequently arrested, by the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) near Hidalgo, TX, on or about September 30, 2022.  BETANCO­ HERNANDEZ was later interviewed and determined to be unlawfully present and inadmissible into the United States.  She was released from custody by U.S. Border Patrol and instructed to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New Orleans, LA.  In conjunction with her release, BETANCO-HERNANDEZ was enrolled in the “Alternative to Detention” program and provided a GPS device to monitor her location in the United States. 

On or about March 28, 2023, BETANCO-HERNANDEZ reported to the BI Incorporated office in St. Rose, LA as requested.  During her interview by a case specialist, she was asked to present her immigration related documents.  BETANCO-HERNANDEZ handed over a Louisiana state ID with her name and photo and a Social Security Card.  Through further investigation, it was determined that BETANCO-HERNANDEZ was not the individual who was issued that social security number.  Additionally, Homeland Security Investigations agents confirmed that the number BETANCO-HERNANDEZ presented was issued by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration to another individual, and not BETANCO-HERNANDEZ.

BETANCO-HERNANDEZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than five years, a maximum fine of up to $250,000, a maximum term of supervised release of up to three years, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee. 

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Carter K.D. Guice, Jr. of the General Crimes Unit is in charge of the prosecution.

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