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Immigration authorities arrested a Lancaster man after the search of a Lynwood Drive home Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Agents with the S.C. Department of Public Safety’s Immigration Enforcement Unit arrested Prudencio Sorcia Cervantes, 36, 1528 Lynwood Drive, on the charge of sale of fraudulent identification documents, said SCDPS spokeswoman Sherri Iacobelli.
The Department of Public Safety oversees several criminal justice agencies including S.C. Highway Patrol.
Iacobelli said agents first went to Cervantes’ home to serve him an arrest warrant.
“At the same time they executed a search warrant on the residence,” Iacobelli said.
Cervantes was later taken to the Lancaster County Detention Center and Iacobelli said additional charges are expected in the case.
“This is a continuing investigation by the IEU and no further information is available at this time,” Iacobelli said Wednesday.
The exact nature of the search remains unclear, though Iacobelli dispelled rumors the incident involved any force. She also declined to discuss what agents found during the search of Cervantes’ home.
“There were no weapons drawn. There was no raid,” Iacobelli said. “It was a peaceful situation and there was no resistance by the individual.”
She also said the only helicopters at the scene belonged to television stations covering the search.
“There were two news helicopters there, but otherwise this was a normal course of business for our immigration unit,” she said.
While Cervantes has posted $30,000 bond, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Matt Shaw said he (Cervantes) remains jailed at the county detention center due to SCDPS placing a “hold” on his release.
In a media release sent Tuesday, Shaw said his office was not involved in the case and search warrant, though the incident stemmed from an arrest deputies made Sept. 12.
In that case, deputies arrested a woman at the Lancaster Department of Motor Vehicles, 1694 Pageland Highway, after she presented DMV employees with fake documents, Shaw said.
According to a sheriff’s office incident report, deputies responded that day after DMV employees said the woman presented them with a fake birth certificate.
The document raised eyebrows when an assistant manager noticed the signature was handwritten, the report said.
Employees also noticed the woman’s Social Security card did not match information on the birth certificate.
The woman, later identified as Eulogio Benitez, 40, was arrested on the charge of fraudulent application and taken to the detention center, the report said.
The SCDPS then took over the investigation because it occurred at the DMV, Shaw said.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416