U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at an international mail facility in Louisville, Kentucky, recently seized six shipments containing 2,909 counterfeit driver’s licenses and 3,123 pieces of blank card stock to manufacture them.
Another 527 counterfeit driver’s licenses were also seized by the agency’s officers from shipments at another mail facility in Memphis, Tennessee.
The agency said the fake driver’s licenses, which originated in China, were destined to people in the New York area. The licenses covered a variety of states, including Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Ohio.
CBP said the use of these fake driver’s licenses can go beyond minors attempting to use them to purchase alcohol to more “nefarious” activities.
“Some of the major concerns as it relates to fraudulent identity documents is identity theft, worksite enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, fraud linked to immigration-related crimes such as human smuggling and human trafficking, and these documents can be used by those individuals associated with terrorism to minimize scrutiny from travel screening measures,” said Thomas Mahn, CBP’s Louisville port director, in a statement.
The agency said one of the shipments of fake driver’s licenses was consigned to a convicted child rapist in the New York area. “It’s suspected that this consignee entices minors with alcohol and counterfeit IDs before engaging in illicit activity,” CBP said.
Homeland Security Investigation’s Border Enforcement Security Task (BEST) Force in Louisville and Chicago’s Tactical Analytical Unit identified similarities between the multiple shipments destined to consignees. The agency’s New York office continues to investigate the traffickers of the fake driver’s licenses.