Three Winston-Salem residents are among 19 people charged by federal officials with illegal voting in the 2016 election in North Carolina, as well as other election related offenses. One person is accused of also voting illegally in 2018.
All 19 people are non-citizens, who may not vote in federal elections.
U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina said 12 of the 19 were charged Aug. 13 for the misdemeanor of voting as a non-citizen for a federal office.
On Aug. 31, a federal grand jury indicted seven more people. Authorities said the charges came after an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations in the federal Department of Homeland Security.
The Winston-Salem residents charged were Rosalva Negrete-Toledo, 65, also known as Rosalva Cortes; Dave Delano Virgil, 57; and Henry Alberto Araya-Vega, 52.
Also charged were a Dobson man, Francisco Antonio-Aguirre, 64; a Linwood man, Armando Nava-Juarez, 51, also known as Armando Nava; and three Greensboro residents, Emmanuel Olakunle Atoyebi, 31; Rufina Concho-Locklear, 82; and Alberto Damaize-Job, 73, also known as Alberto Damaize.
All 19 were charged with the offense of voting by a non-citizen, which carries a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment or a fine of $100,000, or both.
Antonio-Aguirre, Negrete-Toldeo and Virgil were also charged with falsely claiming to be U.S. citizens and with making false statements on voter registration applications. The false citizenship charge carries a maximum three-year sentence and/or a $250,000 maximum fine. The charge of false voter registration application carries a maximum penalty of five years and/or a $250,000 fine.
In addition to being accused of illegally voting, Atoyebi was charged with illegally gaining naturalization, making a false statement in an immigration document, making a false statement in a naturalization proceeding and making a false statement to a federal agent.
The illegal naturalization and false immigration statement charges each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a $250,000 fine, while the false statement to an agent carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.
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