APRIL 26, 2007
A huge Mexican-based operation that used illegal immigrants to sell fake identification documents across the United States has been busted in one major Midwest city.
This week federal authorities in Chicago charged 22 people who ran the multi million-dollar business which created and sold driver’s licenses from a variety of states, resident alien cards, Social Security cards and other government-issued documents. Only twelve of those charged were arrested because the others are fugitives in their native Mexico.
It was one of the largest and most sophisticated illegal document fraud rings in the United States, with outlets in Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago. Federal prosecutors in the Windy City say that branch made about $3 million a year and produced as many as 100 documents daily, charging around $300 for a set of two or three cards.
Ring leader Julio Sanchez used his Mexican ties to recruit illegal immigrants to serve as salespeople on street corners and parking lots. They would take orders for fake documents and later deliver them for cash.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer who worked on the case said the falsified documents could help criminals and terrorists blend into society.
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