SPOKANE, Wash. - A Tri-Cities man who returned to the U.S. after deportation in 2009, and then lied on his passport application, is now headed to federal prison for about seven years.
29-year-old Christian Chavez-Martinez is a Nicaraguan native who has been living illegally in the Tri-Cities.
Chavez-Martinez had pleaded guilty to being an alien in the United States after having previously been deported and another charge of making false statements in an application for a passport.
Given his lengthy criminal history, a federal judge sentenced him to 87 months behind bars.
Chavez-Martinez was also sentenced to 36 months of supervised release after his sentence in federal prison, under the condition he doesn't return to the United States without the Attorney General's permission.
According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, Chavez-Martinez had previously been deported from the United States to Nicaragua in December 2009.
After living in Nicaragua for a year and a half, he attempted to return to the United States via Mexico. En route, he was arrested by Mexican authorities for immigration-related offenses.
While incarcerated in Mexico, Chavez-Martinez falsely claimed to Mexican authorities and representatives from the U.S. Consulate that he was his brother, who is a U.S. citizen. Chavez-Martinez provided authorities documentation, including his brother's birth certificate and a Washington State identification card in the name of his brother, but with Chavez-Martinez's photograph attached.
Using his brother's identity documents, Chavez-Martinez falsely obtained a U.S. passport. He was then deported from Mexico to the United States.
Once in the United States, he attempted to use the fraudulently obtained passport to obtain a Nevada identification card in his brother's name. He was subsequently located by law enforcement in Kennewick, Washington.