Tuesday, December 27, 2005

FBI busts Georgia forgers of Tennessee residency papers

AccessNorthGa.com reports in this article that a group of people based in Atlanta have been arrested for shuttling underground expatriates to Tennessee and selling them forged proof of Tennessee residency papers for the purpose of obtaining legitimate Tennessee certificates of driving (as opposed to drivers licenses, which require more than just proof of residency). According to this checklist for applicants on the Tennessee Department of Safety web site, Tennessee residency may be proven by such mundane documents as a utility bill, bank statement, or a property lease agreement.

"Claudio Galvan, the accused leader operating out of the Atlanta area, and driver Armando Rodriguez-Riveros were arrested Friday with five Hispanics believed to be clients as they tried to get driver's certificates at a Maryville testing center."

"The seven, who had come from Marietta, Ga., the day of their arrest, were arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court on charges of conspiracy to illegally obtain identification documents. If convicted, they could face 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine."

"[T]he ringleaders are accused of ferrying van-loads of illegal immigrants to Tennessee every few weeks to obtain the certificates, supplying them with phony Knoxville residency documents and charging them $800 to $1,500 apiece."

"The activity has centered around Knoxville, centrally located along the north-south Interstate 75 corridor, but an FBI complaint said Galvan claimed he was 'expanding his business into the Nashville and Chattanooga areas as well.'"

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