Previously Deported Dominican National Detained for Healthcare & Welfare Fraud & Identity Theft

Thursday, July 12, 2018


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A previously deported Dominican National was arrested on federal healthcare fraud, welfare fraud, aggravated identity theft, misuse of a social security number and illegal reentry charges.

Carlos José Portes-Ortiz, a.k.a. Juan Carlos Mendieta Vega, a.k.a. Anthony Clausell Rivera, a.k.a. Jose Jimenez Agosto, a.k.a. Willian Acevedo Gil, a.k.a. Allison Gabriel, 37, of Pawtucket, has been ordered detained on a federal criminal complaint charging him with healthcare fraud, welfare (SNAP) fraud, misuse of social security numbers, aggravated identity theft and illegal reentry.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ly T. Chin Terrence P. Donnelly.

The Investigation

According to court documents, it is alleged that Portes-Ortiz was deported from the United States in February of 2009, after having been sentenced in June of 2007 to 37 months in federal prison for conspiracy to import 100 grams or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine. Portes-Ortiz was arrested in June of 2005 at Newark Liberty International Airport after arriving from the Dominican Republic.

According to court documents, in November of 2015, Providence Police responded to a traffic accident and encountered Portes-Ortiz, who allegedly presented officers with a Dominican driver’s license in the name of another person. He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and driving after denial, suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.

In March of 2017, Portes-Ortiz was arrested in Dedham, Massachusetts, after allegedly attempting to purchase over $1,000 worth of iPhone equipment using a driver’s license depicting his photograph and a credit card both in the name of a woman. At the time of his arrest, Portes-Ortiz was found to be in possession of a Rhode Island Neighborhood Health Plan card, a Rhode Island EBT card for SNAP benefits, a Rhode Island identification card, a Puerto Rican driver’s license and a bank debit card, some depicting his photograph but all in names other than his own. It was later determined through fingerprints that the person arrested was actually Portes-Ortiz.

According to court documents, an expansive investigation by local agents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations determined that Portes-Ortiz allegedly used multiple names and stolen personal identifying information to gain Rhode Island driver’s licenses; Rhode Island ID cards; Medicare and health care benefits, to include medical, pharmaceutical and dental services; and EBT cards and SNAP benefits.

During the course of the investigation, agents determined that Portes-Ortiz was employed at a retail store while, at the same time, allegedly fraudulently obtaining federal programs and services using stolen identities and identifying information.


Related Slideshow: 2018 Rhode Island Criminal Justice Hall of Fame Inductees - June 2018

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Hugh Clements

Colonel of the Providence Police Department

Clements was appointed to the Providence Police Department on May 5, 1985, as a night Patrol Officer in the Uniform Division. He then went on to serve on the Neighborhood Response Team Uniformed Task Force before being transferred to the Special Investigations Bureau, the department’s vice and drug unit. In 1990, Clements was promoted to Detectives where he worked in the night squad. In 1992, Detective Clements was promoted to the rank of Sergeant where he spent three years as a night Sergeant in Sub-District 1, South Providence. Sergeant Clements was then transferred to the Detective Bureau where he served as the Squad 2 Sergeant and spent the next seven years supervising the investigations of all major crimes including murder, robbery, burglary, firearms offenses and gang activity. In a squad that carried an extremely heavy caseload, he played an active role in several major investigations during this time.

In 2002, Hugh was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and transferred to the midnight shift of the Patrol Bureau. Lieutenant Clements was later assigned as District 5 Commander covering the neighborhoods of Olneyville, Hartford, and Silver Lake. Consistent with the department philosophy at this time, the true community police model was practiced with several creative and innovative initiatives carried out in this particular district. He was transferred back to the Detective Bureau, and in December 2005, he was promoted to Captain where he was responsible for all major crimes operations in the Investigative Division.

In 2008, when promoted to Major he was assigned for one year as the Commander of the Homeland Security Division, before being reassigned as the Commanding Officer of the Uniform Division.

He later served as Deputy Chief and was appointed as Acting Chief of Police in July 2011, and on January 6, 2012, he was appointed as the 37th Chief of the Department and promoted to the rank of Colonel.

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The Honorable Walter Stone 

Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court

Walter Stone passed away in September of 2017.

He was named to the bench in October of 2010 by then-Governor Donald Carcieri. He replaced Judge Rogeriee Thompson when she was elevated to serve as a U.S. Circuit Judge.

Before being appointed to the court, Stone was a partner at the Providence-based law firm Adler Pollock & Sheehan.

Stone was a graduate of Fisk University and earned a J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law.

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Joseph Stetkiewicz  

Chief, Central Falls Police Department

Joseph Stetkiewicz served as the chief of the Central Falls Police Department from 1946 to 1968.

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Robert McKenna

Director, Roger Williams University Justice System Training, and Research Institute; Lieutenant, East Providence Police Department (Ret.)

Robert McKenna is the Associate Dean and serves as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Justice Studies at Roger Williams University.

Additionally, he serves as the Director of the Justice System Training & Research Institute, the professional development component of the School of Justice Studies.

Associate Dean McKenna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science degree in the Administration of Justice from Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island, as well as a Juris Doctor degree from The New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts. 

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Stephen Springer

(retired) Detective, Providence Police Department; Investigator, Rhode Island Office of Attorney General

A 1968 graduate of the Providence Police Academy, Stephen J. Springer served in the Patrol Bureau for approximately five years before being promoted to Detective. For the next 30 years, he served as a Detective, largely in the South Providence area.  During that time, he served as the primary or secondary investigator on more than 200 homicides, a number unmatched in Rhode Island law enforcement. He joined the RI Office of Attorney General in 2004 as an investigator, retiring in December 2017.

He has received numerous awards over his career, including the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Award (1978), Rhea Archambeault Award (1984), Medal of Valor (1984), Commissioner’s Award (1993), Rhode Island Justice Assistance “Neil Houston Award” (2001), and FOP Outstanding Police Officer of the Year (2002).

Over the course of his nearly 50 years in law enforcement, Stephen Springer epitomized professionalism, dedication, courage, and integrity, tirelessly working on the streets for his entire career, and in the process served as the face of law enforcement to all those he encountered.


Springer and his wife Virginia McGinn reside in Barrington, RI.

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Susan Erstling, Ph.D., LICSW

(retired) - Family Services of RI; Rhode Island State Victim Assistance Academy

Erstling headed the Family Service of RI trauma and loss center, and is a founder of the RI State Victim Assistance Academy.

She has a wealth of experience working with victims, witnesses, and responders in the aftermath of violent incidents, including shootings. 

She and her team also provided training to professionals across the state regarding the effects of trauma.

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Lionel “Pete” Benjamin

Major, Rhode Island State Police

Lionel Benjamin passed away in 2008. 

Benjamin joined the RI State Police Department in 1958, retiring as a Major in 1990, having served 15 of those years as the youngest and longest serving Executive Officer in the country.

As a graduate of the F.B.I. Academy, he was recognized for his expertise in the prevention of organized crime and served proudly under the direction of the legendary Colonel Walter E. Stone.

Consistent with his altruistic nature, he had been a volunteer fireman for the Marieville Fire Department for 15 years as well as a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran of the Korean Conflict.


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