United States Attorney Robert Pitman announced that 42-year-old Mario Oscar Achaval of Argentina faces up to 15 years in federal prison after a jury in San Antonio convicted him of producing false U.S. military identification documents.
Following a one-day trial, the jury found Achaval guilty on four counts of producing false U.S. military identification documents.
Testimony revealed that in June and July 2011, Achaval produced four individual U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Cards, also known as CAC cards. One of the identification cards falsely stated Achaval was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. The other three falsely claimed he was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Special Operations Command, Task Force ODIN, and U.S. Army Southern Command, respectively, and had the markings “TS/SCI” standing for Top Secret security clearances.
In 2009, Achaval was convicted and sentenced in state court in Miami/Dade County, Florida for fraud and ordered to be deported. Evidence presented during court revealed that while awaiting deportation, Achaval was released to the custody of his immigration attorney in the Western District of Texas. In late Spring 2011, Achaval purchased U.S. military uniforms along with rank and unit insignias to match the U.S. Special Operations Command ID that he produced and told his immigration attorney that he was going to use the identifications and uniforms to illegally return to the U.S. following his deportation to Argentina.
Achaval has remained in federal custody since his arrest last August for cutting off his ankle monitor and violating his conditions of release. Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on July 11, 2012.