DMV Investigators Arrest Two Madera Men for Operating Alleged Identification Document Business

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Media Relations

June 22, 2007

Sacramento –A team of investigators from the California Department of Motor Vehicles Fresno District has taken into custody two men suspected of running a massive counterfeit identification document operation in a Madera studio apartment.

The arrests took place Thursday, June 21, 2007, after a two month-long undercover operation in an effort to track down the source of a counterfeit California Driver License they had seized in April. The suspects were identified as 24-year old Pascual Cruz Luciano and 30-year old Perfecto Cruz Luciano.  They have both been booked into separate local county jails and charged with counterfeiting of California Driver’s Licenses, falsification of state and federal seals, manufacturing of government documents and forgery.

“The security and integrity of California Driver Licenses and California Identification Cards is absolutely one of our most important mandates,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “Our investigators work tirelessly to track down criminals who try in any way possible to compromise our customers’ identities and security. Since the California Driver License is a primary means of legal identification, we absolutely pursue every means possible to stay a step ahead of lawbreakers who use fraud and counterfeiting to subvert our database or that of any other official agency."

DMV Investigators say that while they were in the process of making a “buy” of another counterfeit California Driver License yesterday morning, one of the suspects became suspicious of the “sting,” and was subsequently arrested.  A search of his vehicle turned up numerous fraudulent documents, including forged California Driver Licenses and Identification Cards.  A subsequent search of the suspect’s residence in Madera led to the discovery of what officials describe as a huge ID document “mill,” including computers, printers, laminators, fraudulent California state seals, paper and laminate.  Investigators also noted that over 10,000 blank pieces of card stock were also seized as well as at least 5000 laminate sleeves.  They also found over 100 pre-printed laminate sheets that could have been used to create over a thousand copies of the current version of the U.S.-issued immigrant “Resident Alien” identification cards.

Tom Wilson, Supervising Investigator of the DMV Fresno Investigations District, said that the Madera Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency have also been notified and are assisting in the ongoing investigation.

###

Editors please note: Supervising Investigator Tom Wilson said that evidence is available for viewing and he will be available to speak to media representatives until 5 p.m. today, June 22, 2007, at the DMV Investigations Office, which is located at 2510 S. East Avenue, Suite 100B, Fresno. Please call Supervisor Wilson to make an appointment at (559) 488-4024.

Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (www.dmv.ca.gov), including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions.

DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.


DMV MEDIA RELATIONS:
For Media Inquiries Only
dmvmediarelations@dmv.ca.gov
PHONE (916) 657-6437
FAX (916) 657-8282