A Lake Havasu City business owner is scheduled to appear in Mohave Superior Court this month as he awaits extradition to Canada.
Edward W. Somerton, 55, remains in Mohave County Jail this week without bond after his arrest by Lake Havasu City Police Officers and Department of Homeland Security officials. According to police, Somerton traveled to the United States from Newfoundland in 1998. Investigators say Somerton used a passport to enter the country, and never left. He has never attempted to gain legal U.S. citizenship in more than two decades.
In September, Lake Havasu City Police detectives received a tip from an unidentified party, stating that Somerton had been living in the country illegally for more than two decades. During Somerton’s time in the U.S., he has been married twice. Somerton fraudulently obtained a driver’s license using his Canadian Social Security number, the report said, which matched an American Social Security number belonging to a woman living in New York. Somerton opened his business, EZ Moving, in 2000.
According to police, Somerton may have opened several bank accounts using the woman’s Social Security number, and owned multiple firearms.
Lake Havasu City Police detectives contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for assistance in their investigation. Agents from the department allegedly confirmed Somerton to be a Canadian citizen, and police say Somerton fraudulently used his Social Security number for court documents, including documents relating to a civil hearing in which he was involved last month.
Officers and Homeland Security agents went to Lake Havasu Municipal Court, where they waited for Somerton to make a Dec. 19 court appearance. When he did, the report said, Somerton was taken into custody and questioned.
Somerton allegedly admitted to his status as an undocumented immigrant, and to using the Social Security number of a U.S. citizen to mask his unlawful residence in the U.S. He has been charged with felony counts of fraud and identity theft, and was arraigned last week in Mohave County Superior Court.
He is next scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial conference Jan. 27.