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Undercover Investigation Leads to Forgery Charges for Counterfeit IDs

By James Smith
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 9, 2012 Last Updated: November 13, 2012
Related articles: United States » New York City
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One of many counterfeit identification cards seized by police after an undercover investigation revealed a forging operation in Brooklyn, New York. (courtesy of Office of the District Attorney, Kings County)

One of many counterfeit identification cards seized by police after an undercover investigation revealed a forging operation in Brooklyn, New York. (courtesy of Office of the District Attorney, Kings County)

Two men were indicted Thursday for trafficking counterfeit Green Cards, Social Security cards, and other ID cards out of a Sunset Park, Brooklyn, bakery. The crimes were discovered by a year-long undercover investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security.

Jose Mateo Castro, 56, and Leonel Escamiilo, 43, used equipment obtained online to manufacture cards that were virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, the office of the Attorney General for Kings County, Brooklyn, said in a statement.

District Attorney Charles J. Hynes speaks at a press conference on Nov. 8. Poster-sized copies of the forged documents stand in the background, along with the seized equipment used to make the documents on the table. (Gary Du/The Epoch Times)

District Attorney Charles J. Hynes speaks at a press conference on Nov. 8. Poster-sized copies of the forged documents stand in the background, along with the seized equipment used to make the documents on the table. (Gary Du/The Epoch Times)

“Trafficking of forged federal identification cards is not a victimless crime,” said District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. They are used for many illicit purposes, including identity theft, and obtaining access to workplaces and other private areas, Hynes added.

Undercover police charged that Castro sold fake Green Cards and Social Security cards on multiple occasions to undocumented aliens in exchange for $130.

The men faced multiple charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument, forgery and each face up to seven years in prison followed by deportation to Mexico.

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