If you’re living under an assumed name, here’s a tip for you: Don’t apply for a US passport. Arturo Puente, a chief petty officer in the US Navy, learned this particular lesson the hard way. You see, according to this article on Jacksonville.com, Arturo Puente isn’t the officer’s real name. The real Arturo Puente died of asthma attack in 1980, when he was only 11 years old.
Shortly before his death, the boy’s birth certificate was stolen from the family car. It’s unclear how or why the man who is now referred to as John Doe in court and who has since signed legal papers as Guillermo Salinas Guzman assumed the dead boy’s identity, but he has been using it at least since 1987, when he joined the Navy.
“John Doe” had apparently used the name Arturo Puente on 6 different passport applications filed over the past 2 decades. However, it was his latest passport application form for a diplomatic passport that blew his cover.
The Diplomatic Security Service was looking specifically for people using the names of deceased Oregon citizens on their passport application forms. When they found that Mr. Doe had applied for the passport using the same name, birthday and birth certificate as the deceased child, they sprung into action and he was charged with passport fraud.
In an affidavit, State Department Special Agent Mark P. Baird wrote that the “Subject’s true identity is unknown.” However, for the moment he is still working on the Mayport Naval Base, pending prosecution.
Obviously, living under an assumed identity is a bad idea anyway, but applying for a US passport under an identity that isn’t yours is even worse.
If you do need a passport, RushMyPassport can help-provided you are using your own name and have the necessary documents to prove your identity and US citizenship, of course! We can walk you through the application process and personally deliver your application to the Department of State, resulting in processing times as low as 24 hours.