29 April – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Department of Homeland Security; William T. Simms, U.S. Secret Service; Fred O. Dickinson, III, Executive Director, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; Colonel Christopher A. Knight, Director, Florida Highway Patrol; Sandra C. Lambert, Director, Division of Driver’s Licenses; Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement; and Ric Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, announced today the arrests on criminal charges of twenty-three (23) defendants involved in a scheme to unlawfully produce and distribute Florida state driver’s licenses. Of the twenty-three (23) defendants, all of whom were initially charged by criminal complaint, nine (9) have been indicted. Three(3) of the twenty-three(23) defendants worked as State of Florida Driver’s License Examiners, five (5) participated in the scheme as recruiters, and fifteen (15) were recipients of the illegally obtained driver’s licenses.
A total of fifty-two (52) individuals were taken into custody as a result of this five (5) month multi-agency investigation led by ICE. In addition to the twenty-three (23) criminally charged defendants, another twenty-nine (29) other individuals have been taken into custody by ICE and face administrative charges for violations of immigration laws. Of the fifty-two (52) individuals taken into custody, thirty-six (36) had obtained Florida state commercial driver’s licenses, certifications to haul hazardous materials, or access to ports of South Florida.
Defendants, Derene Frasier, Tracie Dunlap, and Yvette Jackson, worked as State of Florida Driver’s License Examiners. A criminal complaint against Frasier charges her with knowingly and unlawfully producing false identification documents without lawful authority, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(1). Dunlap and Jackson, also State of Florida Driver’s License Examiners, are charged by criminal complaint, along with defendant, Charles Phillip Philome, a recruiter, with conspiracy to produce identification documents without lawful authority, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(1), (c)(3)(a), and (f); knowingly and unlawfully producing false identification documents without lawful authority, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(1); and wilfully aiding and abetting the production of such documents, violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028(a)(1), (c)(3)(A), and 2. In addition to Philome, four (4) other defendants were involved in the scheme as
As reflected in the criminal complaints, the scheme included three (3) Driver’s License Examiners and associates working outside that would recruit the commercial license recipients. After contact with a recruiter, the prospective recipients would contact an examiner and conspirators would then contact an examiner and present her with the necessary paperwork. The examiners, as charged, would then falsely certify the illegal alien’s citizenship as legal or United States citizen. The examiners would charge a fee of $100 to $200, while the recruiters would charge $1,500 to $3,000 thousand dollars.
“This investigation has demonstrated how the corrupt acts of driver’s license examiners can circumvent our state’s licensing procedures,” said Mr. Jiménez. “We will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute anyone who violates the licensing procedures in this state.”
“This case illustrates the excellent example of cooperative law enforcement agencies standing untied to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who violate the law in order to provide genuine driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and others,” said Mr. Torres. “This type of criminal activity poses a national security and public safety risk to our community. Those who engage in these activities must give an account for their actions.”
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Secret Service, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Highway Patrol Division and Driver’s Licenses Division, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the United States Customs and Border Protection/Border Patrol, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Social Security-Office of Inspector General, Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, United States Marshal’s Service, Miami-Dade Police Department, and the Broward County’s Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Walleisa.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls