A Mexican citizen on Thursday pleaded guilty to illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Laura Janeth Garza, 38, pleaded guilty to the charges of voter impersonation and ineligible voting, both of which are felonies, according to the attorney general’s office. Garza was sentenced to 10 years in jail and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. She will be deported after serving her sentence.
According to a joint investigation by Texas authorities, Garza stole identification documents of a U.S. citizen and registered to vote in Harris County, which is in the southeastern part of the state. Authorities said Garza used the alias “Angie Yadira Zamora” to cast ballots in 2004, 2012, and 2016.
Law enforcement discovered Garza’s scheme after a U.S. citizen attempted to obtain a passport but discovered Garza had already obtained one with the citizen’s identity, said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“Election integrity is a top priority for my office, and arrestees and convictions like this clearly demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that Texas elections remain free and fair,” said Paxton.
Garza’s voter fraud comes on the heels of an initiative by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot to toughen penalties for voter fraud.