Van E. Harl


Before the age of computers in every county court house, it was easy to change your identity. You went to a local cemetery and found the headstone of a child about your age who died early in life. You then went to the court house and requested a copy of that child’s birth and death certificate. You threw away the death certificate, but used the birth certificate to create the new paper trail, of a new identity. With the birth certificate you could get a state driver’s license and a social security card. With those three items you were a new person.

With the communication technology of today you just cannot do that anymore. Now if you can get your hands on a real set of personal ids, say from a young adult who has died and you look close enough like that person to pass inspection, you may get away with changing your identity. Once you have the new identity if you keep a low profile in society you could pull off this ruse. The problem is when you use your new identity to try and get away with something that involves personal scrutiny.

When I was in high school there was a family that had a bunch of good looking daughters who everyone wanted to date and they all looked somewhat alike. So the young sisters would dress up and use the older sister’s driver license in order to get into bars. This worked great until the “bouncer” who checked ids asked a few simple questions about data on the borrowed id and the little sister blew the answers. So the older sister lost her driver’s license.

I remember a few fake ids in my day. The bar tenders really did not care but I would suggest that a cop would have spotted them for false rather easily. When I joined the Air Force they did a background investigation on me. They sent agents out to my home, to old work places and to people I knew in my civilian life. Later when I got a top secret clearance they sent more agents out and dug even deeper into my life. There was no hiding anything from the Feds. When I was selected to be a state police officer in Nevada they did a similar type back ground investigation on me. When I went to work for a police department in Texas, again a back ground investigation was accomplished, as it should be. During the course of those three jobs I worked with nuclear weapons, automatic weapons, bad people hurting and good people getting hurt and a lot of other very vulnerable people. I needed to be who I said I was and that I was trustworthy for the position.

There was a little blurb in the “Oklahoman” that was only five short paragraphs. I would have missed it completely if I had not seen the word “officer” and “illegal.” Oscar Ayala-Cornejo illegally entered the US as a child. He had a cousin who was a citizen, who had died. Ayala-Cornejo assumed his cousin’s identity as a teenager and then just proceeded to get on with life as an American. He finished high school and later applied to be a police officer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By 2004 he was a badge wearing, gun toting street cop and all that that implies.

Besides the false use of someone else’s identity Ayala-Cornejo falsified every Federal, State, county and Milwaukee city piece of official paperwork he ever had to fill out and attest that he was telling the truth on. He just kept compounding his crimes ever time he spoke or wrote anything. He has now been caught. He is no longer a police officer and has agreed to be deported after he gets out of prison.

Every police report and every arrest he make as a cop is now under suspicion. Even if every action he took as a city cop was by the book, bad guys may now go free, not because they are innocent, but because the falsification of official documentation. But he wants us to believe he was a good guy who sorted of “misspoke” about his legal status and everything else in his new made up life. Over 200 people held a candle light service at his church in Milwaukee because it was felt Ayala-Cornejo was not being treated fair and should still be a city cop.

If an illegal can infiltrate a big city police department what other important defender agency at say, the National level could have this dangerous problem?