Getting their hands on a New Jersey driving license was obviously enough for some people to risk jail. Ninety-three people were arrested in June as part of an operation against an organised fake ID ring.
Young-Kyu Park formerly of Fort Lee in the state was just one of the arrestees and said to be at the head of an operation which had seen applications for genuine drivers’ licenses made with fake documents.
The United States authorities take any crime involving fake ID very seriously and both New Jersey State authorities and Federal Government law enforcement were involved in the operation.
Park has now decamped to Los Angeles but his move wasn’t enough to outrun the long arm of the law in this case. His illegal fake ID operation ran in Palisades Park and Fort Lee, New Jersey.
United States Homeland Security, New Jersey State Police’s Auto United and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission took part in the raids after 136 suspect applications for drivers’ licenses were identified.
A Bergen County Superior Court Judge has authorised serious charges against the suspects, which include, falsifying records and tampering with public records.
Police said that the fake documents were used to obtain genuine licenses which then could be used to defraud or protect criminals. Drivers’ licenses are important forms of fake ID and known by authorities as ‘breeder documents’ because they can be used to access a number of further services and obtain more legitimate documents.
The state Motor Vehicle Commission said it had acted to protect the ‘security and integrity’ of its systems.
Three of those arrested have been detained by Homeland Security Investigations and 21 face Federal charges. Police are on the trail of 43 more New Jersey residents who have fake documents.
Eight local police forces and prosecutors offices were also involved in the major operation.
This is a serious business for those caught, 14 of whom who have now been indicted by a federal grand jury and face prosecution by the Organised Crime and Gangs unit of the United States Attorney.