Federal agents bust a ring selling fake ID’s on the black market. Agents from the departments of Homeland Security and the U. S. Postal Inspector swarmed a home in Lilburn Wednesday, part of a nationwide bust called “Operation Island Express.”
“The indictment unsealed today alleges that from April 2009 to December 2011 defendants operated an extensive black market identity fraud ring,” said the Justice Department’s Lanny Brewer on a conference call. Investigators say the fraud ring was based in Puerto Rico with brokers and runners in 13 states including Georgia.
The thieves would steal the identities of hundreds of Puerto Rican U. S. citizens and resell birth certificates and social security cards for $700 to $2500 per set. Agents said brokers worked over the phone using code words to suggest the sale of clothing or uniforms – using the word “skirt” for a female ID and “pants” for credentials for a man and discussed sizes when referring to a person’s age. Currently Frank Tromper is on the run but was last seen in Belize.
“Within a matter of literally days would be a Fed Ex back to customers in the continental United States,” said ICE Director Joe Morton.
50 people were the target of Wednesday’s raid.
- Two Charlotte men accused of making fake IDs (charlotte.news14.com)
- Men charged after attempting to sell fake ID documents to officers (charlotte.news14.com)
- Deputies: Man Uses Fake ID With Cartoon Photo To Renew Vehicle (clumsycrooks.com)