U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration enforcement lawyer admits stealing immigrant IDs

The former chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle acknowledged in court Thursday that he stole the identities of people facing immigration proceedings and used them to run up credit card and other bills totaling more than $190,000.

Raphael Sanchez, 44, oversaw deportation proceedings in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington before resigning when charges were filed Monday.

In a plea agreement, he said took personal information from immigration files and then forged identification documents, such as Social Security cards and drivers' licenses, in his victims' names. Sometimes, he said, he used a picture of a murder victim that had appeared in a...