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Ex-Immigration Officer Sent to the Slammer

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A former immigration officer was sentenced Wednesday to 5½ years in prison for charging immigrants thousands of dollars to enter their names into citizens' records in computer databases.

Richard Abapo Quidilla, 39, of Pico Rivera, a records custodian for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in San Diego, pleaded guilty in March to computer fraud, illegal procurement of citizenship and aggravated identity theft.

"In his guilty pleas, he admitted that he illegally replaced the biographical information in several United States citizens' records in the computer database with biographical information belonging to aliens," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in announcing his sentence.

"Many of the aliens were then able to use the records to obtain United States passports. Quidilla also admitted that he charged thousands of dollars for each record alteration. Agents executing a search warrant at Quidilla's home also found several items stolen from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office, including blank certificates of citizenship, an embossing device with the official United States seal, citizenship records, and legal permanent resident cards."

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