Police: Illegal immigrant working as officer caught when stolen ID victim sought passport

ANCHORAGE — Authorities say a Mexico-born illegal immigrant working as a police officer in Alaska was caught only after the U.S. citizen whose identity he stole applied for a passport.

Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said Tuesday that Rafael Espinoza lives outside of the U.S. and recently applied for a passport. Mew says around the same time, the officer using Espinoza’s name had applied for a passport renewal.

Rafael Mora-Lopez was arrested last week after federal agents processing his renewal request discovered the alleged fraud. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of passport fraud.

Authorities say documents revealing his true identity were found in his home.

Mora-Lopez has been working as a police officer in Anchorage for six years.

Authorities say he and Espinoza have no known criminal records.

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