Prosecutors charge 19 in North Carolina with voter fraud

Prosecutors charge 19 in North Carolina with voter fraud
FILE- In this Nov. 8, 2016, file photo a lone voter fills out a ballot alongside a row of empty booths at a polling station in the Terrace Park Community Building on Election Day in Cincinnati. An expert panel of the National Academy of Sciences called for fundamental reforms to ensure the integrity of the U.S. election system. The report calls for replacing rickety voting machines with more-secure voting systems that use paper ballots or equivalents, and other measures such as a particular form of postelection audit aimed at spotting fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) (Source: John Minchillo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - Federal prosecutors in North Carolina have announced voter fraud charges against 19 non-citizens accused of illegally casting a ballot in 2016.

Each defendant voted in a federal election in 2016, and one defendant also voted in 2018, according to a news release Wednesday from the office of U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin.

In some instances, the defendants were also charged with related offenses such as making a false statement.

One of the people included 48-year-old Manuel Efrain Valladares, of Concord.

Brief charging documents provided few details about the allegations against any of the defendants.

Many did not have an attorney listed in court records.

Officials say charging instruments such as Indictments and Informations merely allege that crimes have been committed. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

These matters were investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. WBTV contributed to this report.