(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Last month, a Milwaukee police officer named Jose Morales was placed on suspension for investigation as an illegal alien who allegedly stole a dead cousin's identity.
Since that time, it's been confirmed that 24-year-old Oscar Ayala-Cornejo (pic) stole the identity of his cousin, Jose A. Morales.
In February, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent received an anonymous call from someone reporting Ayala-Cornejo was an illegal immigrant but was using the identity of his dead cousin, the complaint says.
Investigators compared Ayala-Cornejo's driver's license to yearbook photos from two high schools he attended as two different identities, the complaint said. Relatives also admitted Ayala-Cornejo took the identity of Ayala-Cornejo's cousin Jose Morales, who was born in Chicago about seven months before Ayala-Cornejo.
Last week, Ayala-Cornejo agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors which specifies six to 12 months in prison, deportation and resignation from the Milwaukee Police.
Interestingly, Ayala-Cornejo's brother, Alexander Ayala, 26, is a U.S. citizen and a Milwaukee police officer. It seems that brother Oscar had an opportunity to become a U.S. citizen by the normal, official route but opted for the illegal method after being encouraged by the Morales family.
Ayala-Cornejo's mother, Maria, told authorities her now-dead husband helped arrange the identity theft with relatives in Chicago, according to the complaint.
Jose Morales died of cancer, Morales' brother, Jamie, told authorities. Jamie Morales said his father volunteered Jose's identity when he died, the complaint said.
Questions still remain regarding the adequacy of background checks and the culpability of other individuals, in particular, Ayala-Cornejo's brother, who was complicit in keeping the identity theft a secret.
Also, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jon Reddin, Ayala-Cornejo's criminal acts likely won't affect the resolution of previous cases since he wasn't "a terribly active officer" nor "involved in any major cases." Nonetheless, every piece of paper with Ayala-Cornejo's signature (as Morales) could be impeached.
Sentencing remains to be scheduled.