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Popular Alaska Cop Rafael Espinoza Outed as Undocumented Mexican Immigrant

Fraud.

For years, officer Rafael Espinoza has been a highly respected member of the Anchorage, Alaska police force. “His reputation here is one of a hard-working officer… very professional,” his chief, Mark Mew, said. “The problem… is he is not Rafael Espinoza.”

Come again?

Turns out that Rafael Espinoza is really Rafael Mora-Lopez, a 47-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico who has been in the United States illegally since the 1980s. According to the Associated Press, federal agents processing Espinoza’s– I mean Mora-Lopez’s– passport renewal discovered the monumental ruse and alerted local authorities to the fraud. The six-year veteran officer was then arrested and appeared in US District Court in Anchorage where he plead not guilty to passport fraud, which could land him in prison for up to ten years if he’s convicted.

Mora-Lopez’s subterfuge is remarkable considering that police officers must pass stringent background checks as well as a lie detector exam. The identity thief (the real Rafael Espinoza is a US citizen) passed them both with flying colors. “We have no evidence that this individual had at the time been anything other than a good police officer,” US Attorney Karen Loeffler said.

Mora-Lopez, who is married and has a child in Alaska, was released on a $50,000 bond and is under house arrest pending trial.

Incredibly, this isn’t the first time this has happened. According to the Associated Press, Mexican national Oscar Ayala-Cornejo assumed the identity of his dead cousin, a US citizen, and became a Milwaukee police officer before being deported in 2007.

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5 Comments

  1. WakakoApril 23, 2011 at 7:36 pmReply

    i wish he didn’t get caught.

  2. Brett WilkinsApril 23, 2011 at 7:52 pmReplyAuthor

    Yeah… me too.

  3. j.HoddMay 29, 2011 at 11:02 pmReply

    What’s the matter with you people?

    A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER breaking the law is OK with you? Do the rest of us get to decide what laws to obey and what we can break?

    This guy LIED. He took a job a LEGAL American could have had.

    If every person he busted sues the city, it will cost TAXPAYERS a ton of money.

    He had NO legal right to be here. All of these ‘illegals’ have broken in line in front of those who try to come here LEGALLY, the ones who OBEY our laws.

    I hope they catch ALL of them and, as LAW BREAKERS, they should not be allowed to come back. Ever.

    • WakakoMay 30, 2011 at 6:32 amReply

      I am a lawyer who used to represent police departments and municipalities in Northern California, and I STILL wish he didn’t get caught!

    • Brett WilkinsMay 30, 2011 at 6:36 amReplyAuthor

      There are communities throughout America where the people believe that “there is no such thing as an illegal alien.” I am proud to live in one of them, a sanctuary city where the authorities also protect “illegals” and do not share information with the federal government. If a law is unjust, it is our obligation not to obey it and pay whatever consequences are necessary in the name of justice. Think slavery or barring women from voting. One day we will look back at the concept of national borders and shake our heads at how primitive we are.

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