Man sought in alleged identity theftAuthorities are searching for an armed robbery suspect who allegedly stayed in Red Wing under a stolen identity.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Authorities are searching for an armed robbery suspect who allegedly stayed in Red Wing under a stolen identity.
First District Court Judge Thomas Bibus issued a warrant Thursday for Valentin Rodriguez Jr., who was charged with aggravated forgery, forgery and identity theft.
According to a criminal complaint, Red Wing police were alerted to Rodriguez in August by Texas authorities checking on a drunken driving case.
A Brownsville, Texas, man contacted police after learning his driver's license had been suspended due to a Minnesota DWI. The man said he had never been to Minnesota and had never received a DWI here.
Red Wing investigators reviewed the June 2007 DWI arrest records and determined that Rodriguez had been using the Texas man's name and Social Security number.
On Sept. 3 Red Wing police executed a search warrant at Rodriguez's 626 Bush St. residence, where they found a loaded .45-caliber handgun and numerous photographs referencing the name "Valentin." Other documents, including a baggage claim ticket under Rodriguez's actual name, were discovered.
In addition to the DWI arrest, it appeared Rodriguez had used the man's identity to open a checking account and for work at Malt-O-Meal in Northfield, Minn.
Police questioned Rodriguez's family members, who told them he was wanted in an aggravated robbery case, where a .45 handgun was fired. Texas authorities confirmed he is a suspect in the case, according to police reports.
Rodriguez, who Texas authorities suspect is a high-ranking prison gang member, stayed in Red Wing for about two years, the complaint said.
If convicted of all charges, Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison and $29,000 in fines.