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Alleged INS impersonator in custody in Worthington

Just days after the Worthington Police Department asked for help in identifying a man accused of posing as an Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agent, they were contacted by an anonymous caller who reported a person who matched the description.

Roberto Lazzu Rivera, 31, of Worthington, was arrested last week and taken to the Prairie Justice Center, where he was later formally charged in Nobles County District Court with two counts of first-degree burglary, theft under $250 and two counts of harassment/stalking.

The complaint states a man, who identified himself as an INS agent, knocked on the door of the victims on June 27 and said he was there to pick up illegal immigrants. He spoke to the resident in the hallway, then walked in uninvited and allegedly took four $50 bills from a wallet that was lying on a table. The resident noticed a tattoo on the man's right forearm that looked like a map of Puerto Rico.


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The man told the residents they had three days to leave and he would be back.

On June 30, the "agent" returned, forced his way inside and reportedly told the occupants to move out or give him money. When the residents refused to comply, he told them he would be back at 3 p.m. and left the premises. At this point, the residents called authorities.

Witnesses said the man wore green army-style pants, a green long-sleeved shirt, and had a round pipe stuffed inside his boot and a pair of handcuffs. He carried a yellow notebook and claimed he had a list of illegal immigrants.

He was described as having a dark complexion, a closely shaved head, and was somewhere between 5 foot 10 inches to six feet tall, weighing 170 to 180 pounds.

On July 11, the anonymous caller reported Rivera has a tattoo of Puerto Rico and close cropped hair. A police detective compiled a photo line-up and showed it to the resident, who identified Rivera's picture as the "agent" who was at the resident June 27 and June 30.

The detective also spoke with the supervisor of investigations with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who said there was not an agent in Minnesota who matched the description.

Rivera was arrested on July 13, as he exited a bus in the Northland Mall parking lot. A search warrant was executed at his residence that evening, where officers found clothing and other items that matched those the "agent" was allegedly wearing or carrying.

Rivera is currently being held at the Nobles County Jail on a $40,000 bond. If convicted on all charges, Rivera faces a maximum penalty of 42 years and 90 days incarceration and/or $77,000 in fines. His next court appearance on this case is 2 p.m. July 31.

Rivera has previous convictions in Nobles County for disorderly conduct, driving after revocation and at least two counts of assault. He has several cases pending with counts for terroristic threat, disorderly conduct, domestic assault and obstructing the legal process.