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INS: Two indicted in document-shredding case

From Terry Frieden
CNN Washington Bureau


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two contract employees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of destroying thousands of documents that were being processed, INS officials said Friday.

The two defendants, who worked at the INS California Service Center in Laguna Niguel, will be arraigned Monday in federal court in Santa Ana, accused of shredding birth and marriage certificates, U.S. and foreign passports, and INS applications and notices.

Dawn Randall, 24, of San Clemente, and Leonel Salazar, 34, of Laguna Niguel, are charged with conspiracy and five counts of willfully destroying documents filed in support of applications for asylum, citizenship, visas and work permits in five Western states.

Officials said that when the backlog of documents in the INS center's file room reached 90,000, Randall ordered Salazar and other supervisors to begin shredding unprocessed documents to reduce the backlog.

The backlog was gone by March.

The INS said it discovered the activity last spring and began investigating its contract employees. The agency said the workers shredded the documents on the night shift, hoping to avoid detection.


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