Ruben Rosas-Avalos

GREENSBORO — A Lee County man was judicially denaturalized and sentenced to six months in prison in federal court after allegedly providing false information under oath on his application for citizenship, according to a release from the office of the U.S. Attorney Middle District of North Carolina.

Ruben Rosas-Avalos, 25, a native of Mexico, pleaded guilty in July to naturalization fraud, according to a release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Rosas-Avalos is accused of obtaining U.S. citizenship by “making materially false statements under oath” on his citizenship application in February 2016, the release said.

Asked if he had “ever committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit a crime or offense for which you were not arrested,” Rosas-Avalos replied “No,” the release said.

He was convicted in Lee County Superior Court in March 2019 on a charge of statutory rape of a child and indecent liberties with a minor and sentenced to more than 26 years in prison, the release said.

Court records show that the indecent liberties incident occurred in July 2015 and the statutory rape in September 2017, according to the release.

Each incident involved different victims. Because he was not arrested before obtaining citizenship, federal authorities had no knowledge of the crimes, the release said.

The case was investigated as part of Operation False Haven, a federal initiative to identity and prosecute child molesters and “other egregious” felons who fraudulently obtained citizenship, the release said.