Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95814
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2011
Swapmeet Vendors Charged in Counterfeit Document Scheme
Sacramento —Investigators with the Calif. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) arrested eight individuals on Sept. 29, 2011, accused of manufacturing and selling counterfeit California Driver Licenses, Social Security Cards and Immigration and Naturalization Services Resident Alien Cards.
Four men arrested during the �buy/bust� operation face felony charges for violating Penal Code 113, manufacturing false documents for the purpose of concealing alien status. They are: Felix Prado-Torres, 32, Van Nuys; Ramon Cordero Martinez, 25, Van Nuys; Juan Ruiz-Lara, 41, Van Nuys; and Enrique Canales-Rodriguez, 50, Van Nuys.
Four additional suspects were taken into custody for federal administrative violations. They are identified as William Josue Ayala-Aviles, 18, Van Nuys; Alfonso Hernandez-Lopez, 36, Panorama City; Angel Pena-Aguilar, 49, North Hills; and Manuel Pena-Aguilar, 42, Van Nuys.
�The counterfeit documents are used for cashing stolen checks, fraudulently acquiring credit cards, defrauding businesses, and illegally driving on our roads and highways� said DMV Investigations Chief Kathryn Door. �These types of operations are critical in protecting the public from identity theft.�
Photographs of counterfeit documents confiscated by DMV investigators. (Some information has been intentionally blurred.)
A team of law enforcement officers with the DMV, Los Angeles Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security targeted the Bazaar Swap Meet at 6477 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys, where they served a search warrant on a vendor�s booth and confiscated fake identification cards and evidence of orders for future ones. Undercover officers said they pinpointed the location after the suspects solicited and sold illegal documents to them.
All eight suspects are being processed for deportation by the Department of Homeland Security. William Josue Ayala-Aviles is from El Salvador. The other seven men are from Mexico.
An estimated 1 million Californians were among the 8.1 million Americans who were victims of identity theft in 2010, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. The total cost of the crime was $3.7 billion.
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And, customers making advance appointments will automatically receive a courtesy reminder call three days in advance of their scheduled appointment. DMV’s “Appointment Notify” telephone system reminds customers about the date, time, field office location and type of appointment.
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