30 indicted, including 16 local residents in alleged fake ID scheme
Federal authorities have indicted 30 people, including 16 local residents, in an alleged scheme to get fake driverís licenses from New Mexico.
The people were living in the United States illegally and traveled from South Carolina and neighboring states to apply for New Mexico driverís licenses, federal prosecutors said. New Mexico, unlike South Carolina, does not require proof of U.S. citizenship for a driverís license, according to the indictments.
Those charged are: 54-year-old Alma Rosa Ortiz-Calzada, 29-year-old Jesus Ortiz, 29-year-old Concepcion Prieto-Juarez, 20-year-old Alejandra Torricos-Cuellar, 31-year-old Juan Pablo Valladares-Martinez, 32-year-old Darco Jordan-Tapia, 23-year-old Marisol Pantoja-Loredo and 41-year-old Gustavo Torricos-Vargas of Charleston; 32-year-old Jorge Alvarez-Chavez, 22-year-old Luis Alvarez-Robles and 42-year-old Gabriel Sotelo of North Charleston; 23-year-old Marcos Medina-Zavaleta of Hanahan; 36-year-old Salvador Hernandez-Santillan of Summerville; 32-year-old Fabian Sanchez-Hernandez and 35-year-old Horacio Jasso-Hernandez of Mount Pleasant; and 30-year-old Jose Alvarez-Robles of Ladson, SC.
Authorities also indicted five New Mexico residents, two Tennessee residents, one Georgia resident, three Virginia residents and one North Carolina resident. Two other people named in the indictment had unknown addresses.
Authorities said the people indicted used false proof of New Mexico residency, such as utility bills, and gave those documents to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department to apply for driverís licenses. They came back to South Carolina, while people living in New Mexico mailed the licenses to them, prosecutors said.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department investigated the case.
The indictments allege conspiracy to transfer false identification documents and producing and transferring false identification documents, both of which carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. The indictments also allege conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and transporting those people, each of which carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or on Twitter at @allysonjbird.