MCSO arrests 3 for alleged workplace ID theft

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office arrested three people Wednesday on suspicion of using stolen identification to obtain employment in the Valley.

The arrests were part of the 76th and 77th criminal employment operations conducted by the sheriff's office.

Detectives arrested 34-year-old Jose Nieves Gonzalez-Rojo at a Chili's restaurant in Mesa, where he allegedly obtained employment with stolen identification.

The sheriff's office began investigating Gonzalez-Rojo in August after a local resident was denied food stamps and other benefits from the Arizona Department of Economic Security because her household income was too great.

The sheriff's office said Gonzalez-Rojo was working under the name of the woman's child. He reportedly admitted on Thursday to being in the country illegally.

Detectives from the Criminal Employment Unit also arrested two employees of Arizona Shower Door Company in Phoenix. The sheriff's office said a four-month investigation revealed that 29-year-old Osiel Betran Barraza and 43-year-old Gloria Munoz Neri were using social security numbers that did not match their names.

The sheriff's office said the three suspects were booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges related to identity theft and forgery, which are class four felonies.

"I will continue to investigate workplace ID theft, where employers continue to hire people with false IDs," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a statement. "ID theft continues to be serious problem not only in Maricopa County but across nation."