Ariel Ruiz, 41, pastor of Iglesia Nueva Esperanza, was arrested Thursday as he delivered nine resident alien cards and nine Social Security cards to an undercover agent, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said.
Additional documents were found upon his
arrest, agents said.Ruiz
was charged with possessing, manufacturing and selling counterfeit documents to defraud the government.
...Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Brown said Ruiz, known to the undercover operative as "Pastor," told customers to mail photos to be used for the fake identification cards to the church's Syracuse address.
was released on bond following an appearance in U.S. District Court Friday and ordered to appear again Tuesday to establish legal counsel.He
did not immediately return a telephone message left at the church Friday