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Two Pa. men arrested in false ID sale scheme

August 06, 2005|By DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Police in Chambersburg have arrested two men on charges of selling forged Social Security cards, resident alien cards and driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

Police seized computers, diskettes, a laminator and other equipment used to make the phony documents, some of which sold for up to $250, according to one criminal complaint.

The borough police department has been investigating the sale of false identification for a year, but got a break last month when a man came forward and offered to buy forged documents from one of the suspects, a Peruvian national named Richard Bravo-Rivera, who was arrested under the name Gabriel Cruz, according to Detective William Frisby.

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Bravo-Rivera, of 818 S. Fourth St., was charged with three counts of felony forgery Wednesday after he allegedly delivered a Social Security card, resident alien card and a Mexican driver's license to the informant, who paid him $300, police said. Frisby said Bravo-Rivera allegedly had the equipment to make the cards.

On Friday afternoon, police arrested Pablo Olvera-Uribe, 34, of 368 W. Loudon St., Apt. 4, accusing him of selling another set of false identification to the same man. He also was charged with three counts of forgery, but Frisby said he allegedly traveled to another state to get the documents made.

Both are illegal aliens and were in Franklin County Prison Friday, he said. The charges were filed before Magisterial District Judge Kelly Rock, he said.

Frisby said the case attracted the attention of the Social Security Administration, which sent a special agent to assist in the investigation. Federal authorities will investigate whether federal laws were violated, he said.

Frisby said police are looking at other people possibly involved in the phony identification trade.

The investigation came about as police began arresting people on false identification charges stemming from vehicle accidents and criminal incidents, he said.

"It's really a big problem within the county right now," Assistant District Attorney Bret Palmer said. Two weeks ago in central court, there were five forgery cases listed, all for Hispanic males, according to court records.

"It is a rampant problem. Most of the people know it is illegal, but they have no alternative" if they want a job, said Tania Fernandez, a translator for the county court system.

The problem of forgers likely will not go away, she said.

"If one is caught, someone else will take his place ... as long as there are undocumented foreigners," she said.

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