Member of unrecognized Indian tribe to be deported

Wednesday, June 11th 2008, 8:44 am
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

WICHITA, KAN. -- A court convicted the first defendant in a federal case against the Kaweah Indian Nation yesterday.  

Pastor Jaime Cervantes will be deported for posing as a U.S. citizen to get a Social Security card, authorities said. 

The unsanctioned Kaweah tribe allegedly sold tribal memberships to 10,000 to 15,000 immigrants in 15 states, including Oklahoma.  The immigrants were told they would receive U.S. citizenship for joining the tribe in return for the fee.

NEWS 9 uncovered the story in July 2007. After the story aired, Angel Zamora and Eduviges Del Carmen Zamora are both charged with four felony counts of trying to use their unrecognized documents to claim citizenship.

Malcolm Webber, supposed chief of the tribe, said he collects as much as $400 in exchange for a tribal citizenship certificate, an identification card, a tag and literature.