An indistinct Hispanic convenience store that sold Mexican candy, prayer candles and hot sauce also dealt in fake green cards and other identification documents.
And on Wednesday the scheme landed two men, including an illegal immigrant, in federal prison.
U.S. District Court Judge P. Michael Duffy sentenced the owner of Tele- Envios Tienda Latina at 1750 Savannah Highway, 37-year-old Fermin Gonzalez-Mendoza, to one year and nine months in prison and three years of supervised release for selling the identification cards.
Duffy sentenced another man, 37-year-old Daniel Morales-Ramirez, to two years in prison and three years of supervised release for operating the document-making "plant" out of a Goose Creek home.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Secor, who prosecuted the case, said officials made at least six undercover purchases of documents, including Mexican driver's licenses, Social Security cards and false permanent resident cards, commonly known as green cards.
Secor said Gonzalez-Mendoza is a permanent resident of the United States but that Morales-Ramirez is in the country illegally.
Prosecutors say customers had their pictures taken at the West Ashley store, and Gonzalez-Mendoza placed an order.
Morales-Ramirez filled Gonzalez-Mendoza's orders from a home in Goose Creek, according to prosecutors.
Investigators first caught onto the scheme in late 2006. The following year they began using confidential informants to buy the fake documents, which sold for about $100 each and sometimes less if customers purchased multiple identification cards.
Federal agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service and the Secret Service investigated the scam.
Read more in tomorrow's Post and Courier.