Fake ID makers arrested
May 5, 2010
Officials said 27-year-old Olivia Hernandez Ortiz and 33-year-old Jose Lopez Villalobos were involved in manufacturing documents such as identification and social security cards. They sold the counterfeit identifications to illegal immigrants in the county for the purposes of employment and government benefits.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that both Ortiz and Villalobos are illegal immigrants to the United States.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputies teamed together with ICE to serve two search warrants in San Miguel and Paso Robles.
Deputies seized computer equipment, plastic identification cards, magnetic strips, completed fraudulent identification cards for various people and a handgun with the serial number removed.
In addition, officials also discovered three grams of cocaine packaged for sale in 13 separate containers.
Sheriff and ICE investigators are continuing to look into the identities of other suspects involved in the counterfeiting and drug operation.
“Counterfeit identity documents like the ones produced by these suspects can be used by dangerous criminals and others who’re seeking to mask their identities and hide their true intentions,” said David Wales, the resident agent in charge who oversees ICE investigations in the San Luis Obispo area. “Given the security and public safety implications, ICE is working closely with its local law enforcement counterparts to target these kinds of schemes and shut them down.”