Mora-Lopez Sentenced to Three Months in Prison, $10,000 Fine

A man in an unusual case of identity theft was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage Thursday. Rafael Mora-Lopez had lived in Anchorage for more than two decades as Rafael Alberto Espinoza.

Mora-Lopez had been a police officer in Anchorage for six years before he was arrested in April for living in the U.S. illegally under a stolen identity. Tom Bradley is an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the Anchorage office. Mora-Lopez had faced a maximum sentence of 13 years and $250,000 in fines. Bradley says Thursday’s sentence of three months in federal prison and a $10,000 fine is fair.

Bradley says Mora-Lopez will be sent to a facility outside of Alaska because there are no federal prisons in the state. After he completes his sentence, he could be deported, but Bradley says he can appear before an immigration judge to seek permission to stay.

Bradley says it’s very unusual for someone who has committed identity theft to go into a high profile position such as a police officer.

Mora-Lopez had pleaded guilty in June to passport fraud and false claims of U.S. citizenship.

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Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-350-2058.

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