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Officer arrested; citizenship questioned


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  • Officer arrested; citizenship questioned

    He is suspected of taking on identity of dead cousin years ago
    [email protected]
    Posted: May 30, 2007

    A Milwaukee police officer was arrested Wednesday by federal immigration agents on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant who assumed the identity of his dead cousin a decade ago, officials said.

    The officer, who has lived and worked under the name Jose A. Morales since he was a teenager, was arrested by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz confirmed Wednesday.

    A spokeswoman from Immigration did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday night.

    "When the Milwaukee Police Department was made aware of these allegations, we worked in concert with federal authorities on this investigation," Schwartz said.

    Morales, 24, was suspended after his arrest, Schwartz said. He will continue to be paid, per state law.

    Morales was hired five years ago as a police aide, a program that came under fire during the investigation of the beating of Frank Jude Jr. and was later overhauled.

    Morales became a patrol officer in December 2004 and was most recently assigned to second shift at District 2 on the south side, Schwartz said.

    The U.S. attorney's office began reviewing the case Wednesday, said Michelle Jacobs, first assistant U.S. attorney.

    "The case is under consideration by our office and a decision on charging will likely be made" today, Jacobs said, adding that if Morales is charged, he would appear in federal court today.

    If Morales is charged or just deported, there will likely be fallout within the criminal justice system, based on the history of other police officers who have been charged with crimes. Prosecutors typically drop any case that an accused officer is a witness in and sometimes old cases can come up for appeal, if the officer was a key witness.

    Officials did not say how Morales came to the attention of federal authorities.

    It is suspected that he, as a teenager, took on the identity of his dead cousin. By doing that at such a young age, he created a trail of fingerprints and other identification that ultimately allowed him to join the department, Schwartz said.

    "We do everything we can during the background check when people apply to be police officers, but in this case when it has been going on so long, it would be really difficult to discover it was going on," Schwartz said.

    Changes to program
    Since Morales was hired, the police aide program has been overhauled after a disproportionate number of its graduates landed in trouble. Officials found some aides lied, didn't work hard and failed to be physically fit.

    The program, which grooms teens to become police officers, has been restructured with stronger oversight, closer evaluation of aides, a new uniform and additional required college credit, the department said.

    The background check, which is the same for aides and officers, also has been strengthened after officials found that some of the officers accused in the Jude beating had questionable backgrounds. Now, the chief plays a larger role, personally reviewing all applications.

  • #2
    This blows me away. Hose Morales takes on dead cousins identity through a program called ...POLICE AIDE. Is this for real, because this appears to be a way thru the back door and given AUTHORITY with/out any questions in regard to his identity. And of course the headline reads as above stated:OFFICER ARRESTED, CITIZENSHIP QUESTIONED. So I right away learned who HOSEA MORALES WAS, and this type of thing happening just blew me away. No wonder our LEO'S feel the heat and no wonder the public has the preception it does when it reads these type of playovers! Folks, we are in serious trouble if we continue to turn a blind eye and give almost anybody a FREE PASS just because we are to lazy to take the time to put the man in question thru the roller!! The citizens or public deserves better than this. I am blown away!!


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