Immigrant arrested using false ID for work

A Carson City man remained in police custody Wednesday, jailed on suspicion of using another man's identity to work.

Ricardo Gutierrez, 25, was booked at 10:15 a.m. on felony using information belonging to another. His bail was set at $7,500.

According to the arrest report, a Los Angeles man by the name of Steve McCrary reported to Los Angeles authorities that the IRS told him someone in Carson City was working under his name and using his Social Security number.

On Tuesday, Carson City Sheriff's detective Dave Legros went to the business and asked employees there if Steve McCrary was at work. Co-workers told Legros that McCrary was out in the field. The officer asked that he be called in.

Legros wrote in his report that when "McCrary" arrived and was questioned, he was uncertain of his birth date and had to look at his pay stub to recite his Social Security number.

When Legros told the man he knew he was lying, Gutierrez allegedly admitted he'd used the identity since he was 15 years old to secure employment.

According to the report, Gutierrez said he was brought from Mexico to the U.S. when he was 4 years old by his aunt, who took him to live with his mother in California.

When Gutierrez was 15, he and his mother moved to Carson City, where he attended high school. Gutierrez said that when he was 13 years old, his mother gave him a Social Security card with McCrary's name and number. He'd used that card ever since.

Legros said Gutierrez never opened a credit card in McCrary's name, nor did he take out loans. He also has no criminal history in either name and only received one traffic citation under McCrary's name, which he paid promptly.

"He told me they actually garnished his checks for a while (for unpaid child support on the real McCrary) and (Gutierrez said) 'Who was I going to complain to?'"

But, Legros noted, Gutierrez was breaking the law.

"Technically you got a guy in California who hasn't seen a tax return in almost two or three years because (Gutierrez) wasn't paying all his taxes," Legros said.

Gutierrez' wife Lupe said Wednesday that her husband is a good man, who was never shown the right way to enter the country. The two met as students at Carson High School 10 years ago.

"I don't know why his mother didn't get him his citizenship," she said.

Lupe said she was 2 years old when she came to the country and her mother helped her to become a legal citizen. She now works for the state. The couple has a 7-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter, both born in Carson City.

She said Gutierrez was in the process of getting his citizenship, "but it was a waiting game with immigration for him to get his papers."

Now, if Gutierrez is convicted of a felony, he will be deported to a country he doesn't know, and will be barred from re-entering the U.S.

"Oh my God, I don't think I can even tell my 7-year-old. He will be heartbroken. We don't know what we would do," Lupe said. "Ricardo - he's a good boy. He needed to work. He had no other way to work. How would he work?"

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.

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