ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – An Anchorage police officer who took on a false identity that masked his Mexican citizenship has been arrested and charged with passport fraud, federal officials said today.
At a news conference Friday, U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said that patrolman Rafael Espinoza, on the Anchorage police force for about six years, was really Rafael Mora-Lopez, a Mexican national working in the United States illegally.
The identity swap was discovered when the police officer applied for a U.S. passport and officials from the State Department found that the Rafael Espinoza identity he was using was actually someone else in the Lower 48, Loeffler said.
Mora-Lopez, 51, was arrested Thursday and is being arraigned before a U.S. Magistrate Judge this afternoon. Loeffler declined to say when Mora-Lopez entered the United States and where he has been since then. But she said he didn’t appear to be part of a larger conspiracy.
“We have no evidence at this time that this individual had been anything but a good police officer,” Loeffler said. The real Espinoza also has a clean record, she said.