A Holiday man has been using a Texas police officer's identity for more than a decade, authorities say.
In the late 1990s, Sergio Morales Esquivel — who is from Mexico and does not have American citizenship — broke into the car of Jorge Luis Moreno, an officer who lives in Edinburg, Texas, Pasco sheriff's deputies say.
The officer's wallet was stolen and later recovered. His identification and Social Security card were missing, but the thief did not take Moreno's police badge.
Recently, Moreno, 57, checked out his credit report after being denied a car loan. He discovered a loan in his name out of New Port Richey for $22,683. Authorities say Esquivel, 51, opened that account to buy his wife a 2008 Toyota RAV4 from Sun Toyota in New Port Richey.
"As far as we can tell, this is the first thing he's done in Florida with that information," said Pasco Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll.
When a deputy came to Esquivel's home at 5031 Stardale Drive, his wife said "she has always known her husband as Jorge Moreno and she has been married to him for six years," a Sheriff's Office report states. The report later noted that Esquivel used his real name on their marriage documents. The wife told deputies Esquivel explained the name difference by saying he was a law enforcement officer in Mexico, which is why he was using a fake name.
Esquivel, who listed his occupation as a laborer, turned himself in at the Pasco jail on Monday. He faces a charge of criminal use of personal identification information and is being held without bail.
The Sheriff's Office said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been notified of Esquivel's arrest. Whether he will be deported is up to the federal agency, Doll said.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6229.