DMV Investigators Bust Fraudulent Document Mill in Salinas

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

www.dmv.ca.gov
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February 4, 2008

Sacramento – Investigators from the California Department of Motor Vehicles arrested Jose Gonzalez Melano, 51, in Salinas last Thursday on several felony counts of forging counterfeit government identity documents, and falsification of state and federal seals.

The bust occurred at approximately 7:10 a.m., culminating a months-long investigation that began in 2007 when Investigators at DMV’s Santa Teresa Field Office were given a tip that a fake ID and license mill was being operated in a Salinas-area home. Working under cover, Investigators in the ensuing months purchased counterfeit licenses and other identity documents in the Bay Area which led to Thursday’s action.

Also seized were computers, printers, laminators, fraudulent California state seals, fraudulent DMV logos, laminating sheets, card stocks, counterfeit Social Security cards, counterfeit Resident Alien cards, cutting tools, glue, and other evidence of counterfeit document manufacturing equipment.

Melano was booked into the local county jail and was charged with forging counterfeit government identity documents, falsification of state and federal seals, and manufacturing of government documents.

Thursday’s action continued the Department’s focus on identity fraud and counterfeiting to enhance consumer protection and security of vital documents.

DMV’s Investigations Division enhances consumer protection through active fraud/counterfeit detection, investigation, and enforcement services. The 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.

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.

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