Law finally catches up to identity thief

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PHOENIX -- Well, it looks like someone is going to prison.

Ruben Santiago Juarez was profiled in a couple 3 On Your Side reports five months ago. After those reports aired, the law finally caught up with him.

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"I feel relieved," Amber Cardenas said. "I feel a sense of closure, but it's not over until I get it all taken care of."

Cardenas is relieved that justice has finally caught up with the man who has haunted her life for six long years.

"He has taken a lot away from me in many areas," she said.

3 On Your Side first told you about Cardenas five months ago when she told us she was the victim of identity theft.

It turns out Juarez was using Cardenas' Social Security number to establish credit. He obtained credit cards, utilities and even purchased several homes. In fact, he racked up more than $800,000 under Cardenas' Social Security number. So much, that Cardenas could no longer get credit anywhere.

"When I go out and I try and get credit, I can't get it in my name because he's already been there, done that," she said.

And after 3 On Your Side's report aired, the wheels of justice started turning and Juarez was arrested by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

And just last week it was judgment day for Juarez.

Juarez pleaded guilty to three counts of identity theft and through an interpreter he said this to the judge: "I just ask your honor to forgive me for my mistake and I would like to ask the state prosecutor to forgive me as well as the state of Arizona. My intention was never to do something wrong."

Juarez will be behind bars for two and a half years. For Cardenas that's not enough because she says she'll be trying to correct her credit years after he's released from prison.

"It's going to take me longer than two and a half years to get it cleared up," she said.

And after Juarez serves prison time, he'll be deported back to Mexico.