Federal prosecutors in North Carolina announced voter fraud charges Wednesday against 19 non-citizens accused of illegally casting a ballot.
Each defendant voted in a federal election, and one defendant also voted in 2018, according to a news release from United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin’s office. In some instances, the defendants were also charged with related offenses such as making a false statement.
The news release did not list the defendants’ nationalities or say how their alleged crimes had been uncovered, although it said the matters had been investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, an investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
Shot… Chaser. Don’t ever say one vote doesn’t matter and don’t say illegal immigrants voting doesn’t matter. North Carolina charged 19 illegal immigrants with voter fraud for voting today. In 2015 ALONE 69 races were decided by 5 or fewer votes. 31 were decided by 1 vote! pic.twitter.com/ZItcgNVPnF
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) September 3, 2020
Democracy North Carolina has been one of the most active groups in lawsuits and other actions opposing voter ID and other Republican-led election changes, and it also addresses issues of money in politics. It sometimes partners with the North Carolina NAACP.
Democracy North Carolina analyzed November 2015 elections in the state and determined that the mayor or a town council member in 69 cities won their election by five or fewer votes.
And in 31 municipalities across North Carolina, one vote determined who won or lost an election. EVERY VOTE COUNTS!
Brief charging documents provided few details about any of the allegations. Many defendants did not have an attorney listed in court records. The Associated Press attempted to contact all defense attorneys who were listed, reaching only two.
From the Department of Justice:
On August 31, 2020, a federal grand jury indicted seven individuals as follows:
Charged with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 611(a) (voting by non-citizen), 911 (claim of U.S. citizenship by non-citizen), and 1015(f) (false statement in a voter registration application):
- Francisco Antonio-Aguirre, age 64, of Dobson, NC (1:20CR351);
- Roob Kaur Atar-Singh, age 57, of Raeford, NC (1:20CR349);
- Rosalva Negrete-Toledo, aka Rosalva Cortes, age 65, of Winston-Salem, NC
- Dave Delano Virgil, age 57, of Winston-Salem, NC (1:20CR339);
- Eloy Alberto Zayas-Berrier, 70, of Pelham, NC (1:20CR348);
Charged with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 611(a) (voting by non-citizen), 1425(a) (procure naturalization contrary to law), 1546(a) (false statement in an immigration document), 1015(a) (false statement in naturalization proceeding), and 1001(a)(2) (false statement to federal agent):
- Emmanuel Olakunle Atoyebi, age 31, of Greensboro, NC (1:20CR347);
Charged with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 611(a) (voting by non-citizen), 911 (claim of U.S. citizenship by non-citizen), 1015(f) (false statement in a voter registration application), 1425(a) (procure naturalization contrary to law), 1546(a) (false statement in an immigration document), and 1015(a) (false statement in naturalization proceeding):
- Mokhtar Qaid Ahmed Gulaimid, age 48, of Raeford, NC (1:20CR338).
In addition, on August 13, 2020, twelve individuals were charged by Information with violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 611(a), a misdemeanor, which prohibits non-citizen voting in elections held to elect federal officials. They are:
Ismay Prudence Kathleen James, age 54, of Burlington, NC (1:20CR317);
Donald Christian Martyn, age 44, of Durham, NC (1:20CR318);
Chaim Pinto, age 68, of Raeford, NC (1:20CR319);
John Andrew Rapsky, age 54, of Chapel Hill, NC (1:20CR320);
Baijoo Pottakulath Thomas, age 58, of Durham, NC (1:20CR321);
Shuqin Yin, age 54, of Landis, NC (1:20CR322);
Chirong Yin Billings, aka Chirong Cummings, age 56, of McLeansville, NC (1:20CR323);
Henry Alberto Araya-Vega, age 52, of Winston-Salem, NC (1:20CR324);
Rufina Concho-Locklear, age 82, of Greensboro, NC (1:20CR325);
Alberto Damaize-Job, aka Alberto Damaize, age 73, of Greensboro, NC (1:20CR326);
Armando Nava-Juarez, aka Armando Nava, age 51, of Linwood, NC (1:20CR327); and
Manuel Efrain Valladares, age 48, of Concord, NC (1:20CR328).
A conviction of voting by a non-citizen, a misdemeanor, carries a maximum term of one-year imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $100,000, or both.