For years, the man known as Rafael Espinoza was widely respected as an exemplary police officer who was popular among his peers in Alaska's largest city.
All that ended last week when authorities discovered he was really Mexican national Rafael Mora-Lopez, who was in the U.S. illegally and stole another man's identity, officials charged.
"His reputation here is one of a hard-working officer, one who was very professional," Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said Friday at a news conference announcing Mora-Lopez's arrest. "The problem, obviously, is he is not Rafael Espinoza."
Soon after the announcement, Mora-Lopez appeared in U.S. District Court in Anchorage and pleaded not guilty to a charge of passport fraud, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence. At his arraignment, Mora-Lopez told a federal magistrate
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