Undocumented Man Charged with Possessing Fraudulent Green Card in Athens, Connected to Murder of UGA Student

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An undocumented man residing in Athens, identified as Diego Ibarra, has been charged with possessing a fraudulent green card, according to a federal criminal complaint filed tonight. Ibarra, 29, hailing from Venezuela, is currently held in state custody pending further proceedings.

Ibarra’s connection to a high-profile case involving the murder of a woman on the University of Georgia’s campus adds complexity to his situation. He is the brother of Jose Antonio Ibarra, who faces charges related to the aforementioned murder case.

Diego Ibarra’s initial appearance in court has yet to be scheduled. If convicted, he could potentially face a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

The criminal complaint alleges that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) became aware of Ibarra’s undocumented status on Feb. 23, 2024. Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) officers encountered Ibarra today while investigating the homicide, as he matched the description of a suspect. Upon presenting a U.S. permanent resident card, commonly known as a green card, to the officer, it was determined to be fraudulent.

Further investigation revealed that Ibarra, a citizen of Venezuela, had been previously arrested three times by Athens law enforcement since his entry into the country. These arrests include charges related to driving under the influence, theft, and failure to appear for a prior offense.

The case is being investigated collaboratively by various law enforcement agencies including Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, GBI, Athens-Clarke County Police Department, University of Georgia Police Department, and Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Morrison is overseeing the prosecution of the case.