BOSTON — A former Lawrence man has been sent to federal prison for the next 18 months after his conviction in an identity fraud case, according to the Department of Justice. 

Roberto Melo Guerrero, 39, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper, according to a DOJ statement. 

Guerrero faces deportation following the completion of his sentence, officials said. 

In July 2020, Guerrero pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number and one count of making a false statement relating to a health care benefit program, according to the DOJ. 

He was arrested in December 2019 and has been detained since that time. 

Guerrero used the name and identifiers of a U.S. citizen for at least 15 years, including to obtain a Massachusetts driver's license. He was also provided MassHealth benefits valued at $18,505, according to the statement. 

Also, on multiple occasions, Guerrero was arrested and charged in Massachusetts with drug trafficking offenses under the citizen's name he was illegally using, according to the DOJ. 

In addition to the 18-month prison sentence, Guerrero was also ordered to pay $18,505 restitution to MassHeath and also forfeit the same amount, according to the DOJ. 

The investigation was conducted by the Homeland Security Investigation's Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, a specialized investigative group comprised of personnel from various state, local and federal agencies, according to the statement. 

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 

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