West Michigan father and son face conspiracy charges in federal court

Both men face charges of conspiracy related to identity theft, misuse of social security accounts, and harboring undocumented individuals.

Less than 24 hours after state and federal law enforcement surrounded a home in Kalamazoo, new details emerged about a father and son taken into custody and charged in federal court.

Both Michael James Balderramas and Eddie Michael Balderramas, his father, are facing conspiracy charges due to what the federal attorney said was a conspiracy to profit from providing undocumented individuals in the U.S. with new identities.

As part of the conspiracy, the unsealed indictment alleges both men would transport undocumented individuals to Kalamazoo, and provided them with fake birth certificates and other documents from Puerto Rico.

The same documents were allegedly later used to deceive workers at Michigan Secretary of State offices in Kalamazoo.

"On or about October 11, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] paid Eddie Michael Balderramas $2,000.00 cash for his assistance in acquiring a Michigan driver's license in the identity of another individual," reads the indictment.

Michael bonded out of jail, but his father, Eddie, remains in custody in Newaygo County.

In a phone conversation with Newschannel 3, Michael declined to comment on the charges, but added he is currently in the process of acquiring legal assistance to deal with the matter.

A third person, Michelle Martinez-Marte, is also listed as a defendant on the indictment, but she was detained in Boston, Mass. on Thursday.

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