Swindler Dresses As Clown On Kiddie Bike To Impersonate Immigration Official
|Oh look! Two immigration officials!|
That was the disguise Frank Salvador Solorza used when impersonating an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official and extorting money from immigrants to purportedly save them from deportation. Solorza was convicted by a federal jury in Oakland last week for impersonating a federal officer (in a clown suit), attempted extortion by a federal official (yep, in a clown suit), and conspiracy.
Solorza and his crew eventually set a time and place to meet their intended victims. It was easy to spot Solorza -- he was the one in clown attire pedaling a child's bike. This, apparently, is what the con man thought immigrants would expect of an ICE agent on the take. But Bozo ended up looking like a clown; he was arrested. What a sight for the kids that must have been.
In what is perhaps the most rollicking press release ever hailing from the U.S. Department of Justice, the revelation that Solorza was dressed as a clown is followed by this quote from U.S. Attorney Joe Russoniello: "This case shows that the United States will investigate and vigorously prosecute those who impersonate federal officers. Individuals who cloak themselves with apparent federal authority in order to victimize vulnerable people will be brought to justice." Or cloak themselves in big shoes and a wig.
But the release then tells us to stop clowning around: "While part of this defendant's deception involved dressing as a clown, his actions are no laughing matter," said Mark Wollman, special agent in charge of ICE's office of Homeland Security Investigations. "One of our enforcement priorities is to target immigration fraud and the swindlers who prey on innocent individuals in our communities."
Well, we knew ICE wasn't exactly viewed with great respect by immigrants, but we didn't know their esteem had dropped this low.
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