Incarcerated man faces new charges for forgery, identity fraud

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man already incarcerated on drug charges is now facing additional charges relating to forged documents found in his home at the time of his arrest.

Guillermo Valdez, of Washington City, booking photo posted Oct. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Guillermo Valdez, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Oct. 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Guillermo Valdez, of St. George, was first arrested on Oct. 9 following an ongoing investigation that culminated in a search of his residence by the Washington County Drug Task Force. Multiple bags of white crystal material, digital scales and other alleged drug distribution-related items were found during the search of Valdez’s home, St. George Police Capt. Kyle Whitehead said.

Valdez, also known as “Gordo,” was not at his residence during the time of the search, Whitehead said, but he was stopped at a different location, where officers found him in possession of methamphetamine.

Authorities arrested Valdez at that time and charged him with six first-degree felonies for drug distribution and one third-degree felony for drug possession.

Members of the St. George Police Department Fraudulent Identity and Security Threat Unit also assisted in the search of Valdez’s residence, Officer Aaron Bergquist, of the St. George Police Department, wrote in a probable cause statement supporting the additional charges against Valdez. In the initial search of Valdez’s home, multiple forged documents belonging to Valdez were found.

An investigation uncovered that Valdez had provided a permanent resident card and a Social Security card — both officially registered to other persons — to two St. George businesses while obtaining employment.

Because he had made more than $5,000 throughout his time of employment using the forged documents, Valdez was charged Tuesday with four second-degree felony counts of identity theft and four third-degree felony counts of possessing forged documents.

Valdez’s bail amount for these new charges stands at $55,000. He remains in custody at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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