Federal agents arrested eight alleged illegal aliens this week on charges that they bought or attempted to buy falsified immigration documents here.
The eight individuals are being held in Florence and arraignment hearings are scheduled for Friday in federal court. Hearings had to be postponed for some of the defendants because three of them need a Hebrew interpreter and one of them needs a Swahili interpreter. The other defendants speak English.
Bill Day, the assistant U.S. attorney who will prosecute the case, said the defendants did not live in Horry County but came to the Myrtle Beach area to purchase falsified documents from an unnamed supplier based here. Indictments are expected for at least three more people in the case.
All of the defendants were indicted on Sept. 25 but those indictments were not unsealed until after their arrests this week.
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Those arrested include: Nevo Katzav; Einan Salach; Lior Shriki; Florence Tiego; Omri Lipman; Anat Bor; Amos Shmilovich; and Eran Kol. Each of the defendants is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to the unsealed indictments, the defendants allegedly contacted the Myrtle Beach document supplier by telephone and then paid between $5,000 and $6,100 apiece for falsified visas, employment authorization documents and a resident alien card. Authorities say the purchases took place between October 2009 and April 2012.