Sunday, August 17, 2008

California man charged with running fake ID factory

Police have arrested Luis Alberto Montana, 44, and charged him with renting a room in a Watsonville, California home and running a document factory there, producing a variety of ID cards.

The operation was underway in a bedroom and bathroom at 30 Ninth St. in Watsonvillle. Police found a laptop computer with an ID card and photo on the screen. Also in the room were printers, paper cutters, stacks of laminating paper, which contained numerous types of gold government seals used on different types of ID cards.

"It's rare that we would find a location where those things are manufactured," Watsonville police Lt. Darren Thompson said. "What makes this case unique is we were led to where man had rented a bedroom in a home and he had set up fraudulent manufacturing."

The man lived elsewhere in the town. He had been renting the space for eight to nine months. There were residential tenants in the building. Evidence seized included sheets of blank social security cards, immigration cards, driver's licenses, W-2 forms as well as completed cards, including driver's licenses from California, Arizona, Oregon and California license plate stickers, Matriculas and resident alien cards, according to police.

Montana was charged with possession of false documents, manufacturing false government documents, manufacturing false citizenship or resident alien documents, forgery of driver's license or ID cards and forgery of seals. He is being held in Santa Cruz County Jail on $250,000 bail.

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