Local News

3 Charged With Making Bogus Documents

Posted March 28, 2007

— Three illegal immigrants were arrested Wednesday after Hoke County authorities broke up what they called a mill that churned out phony identification documents.

Mallely G. Hernandez, of 200 McDuffie St. in Raeford, Gustavo Mateo St. Augustine, of 130 B.J. Court in Red Springs, and Joel P. Zalazar, of 100 Sheppard Lane in Raeford, face charges of identity fraud and trafficking and distribution of false documents, authorities said. Each is being held in the Hoke County Jail on a $300,000 bond.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said all three men are in the U.S. illegally and were furnishing fake documents to other illegal immigrants.

"WIth the growing situation of people coming into our state and country illegally, they want to get moving fast, they want to fit in fast. This is a way people can make money," Peterkin said at a news conference.

Authorities raided three houses Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, including one less than a block from the Hoke County Sheriff's Office, and seized dozens of phony driver's licenses, Social Security cards, birth certificates and auto insurance cards. The documents were used to help illegal immigrants obtain jobs and buy cars, authorities said.

Peterkin said members of an established ring would arrange to pick up illegal immigrants being brought to North Carolina and handle their living arrangements and get them documentation -- all for a fee.

The U.S. Secret Service is assisting the Hoke County Sheriff's Office in the investigation, and more arrests are likely, he said.

"A lot of the IDs that were produced that were fake have legitimate numbers on them," Peterkin said. "Unless you know what you're looking for, just looking at it, it looks real."

About $7,000 in cash, as well as jewelry and computer equipment, were also seized in the raids. Laptops were used to produce the phony documents, he said.

"They get the type of papers, they get the plastic they need, they do all the lamination," he said.

It's unclear how the suspects obtained legitimate driver's license and Social Security numbers, he said, adding that they might have found lost or discarded licenses or searched through trash to obtain financial information.

"We have people, on a day-to-day basis, their job is to look for this stuff," he said, adding that people should shred all old documents containing personal information.


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  • AmericaFirst Mar 29, 2007

    Check out online "FAIR: Illegal Immigration" for details of US H. of Reps. bill #1645, which would allow amnesty, eventual citizenship to the 12-20 million illegals now in this country; introduced by Flake (R-AZ) and Gutierrez (D-IL). If the US can't figure out how many illegals are even in this country, how are they going to keep track of them for 6 yrs. while they maneuver to gain citizenship or skip the hassle and stay here anyway, doing what they'e doing now. E-mail your representative; I have. Between the Republicans wanting cheap labor for their corporate buddies and the Dems looking for the eventual Hispanic vote, the rest of us, who are paying the bills, are losing America. A couple of fun facts: 25% of the entire pop. of Ecuador is now in Am., sending out $2 B. of Am. capital in 6 mos. 52 % of one elem. school in Hoke Co. is Hispanic. Any takers that all are legal ?

  • AmericaFirst Mar 29, 2007

    I haven't seen this in my local newspaper, but Rep. Flake (R-AZ)(go figure)& Gutierrez (D-IL) have introduced into the US H. of Rep. H.R.Bill 1645 to allow amnesty and eventual citizenship to the 12-20 million illegals now in the US.- up to 400,000 a yr., with dependents, 600,000/yr. (Check out FAIR, "Illegal Immigration" online; has details.)

  • me-in-raeford Mar 29, 2007

    jmr...I don't believe anyone on this site has suggested that people of any particular race are "all the same"...that's ridiculious...

    but CRIMINAL MIGRANTS are still CRIMINALS...regardless of their race

  • At Work Mar 29, 2007

    I wounder if the guys that got caught could have fixed my credit score? Man, guess I wont never know!! HA HA

  • kstor33 Mar 29, 2007

    MeinRaeford...I'm inclined to agree with you on just about everything you say. Especially about folks learning to speak the English language. When I travel abroad(especially Europe), I can't just go up to any German,Czeck, or Greek in THEIR OWN country and demand they speak English to me. They don't(and shouldn't). They speak to me in their native tongue and I carry my English/German dictionary. Americans have a bad reputation of doing that and I think it's an outrage as well. But what I don't get here is the disconnect between some folks demanding English to be spoken everywhere but their own da#@ country?!Someone help me out here. Ever heard of "when in Rome do as the Romans"? Live in the U.S....speak English. Period.

  • bosoxbaby Mar 29, 2007

    Before anyone corrects my spelling...I meant knowledgeable instead of knowledable (fingers were just faster than my brain).

  • jmr Mar 29, 2007

    me-in-raeford...I didn't ask your race. The point I was trying to make was that not everyone of the same race is the same.

  • bosoxbaby Mar 29, 2007

    Tarheel born - it was just a suggestion but I suppose you being more superior & knowledable than I, have the solution all worked out. So why don't you run for Pres & fix it all. Did I say it was the "best" solution.....no I didn't. Walls & Minute Men won't keep them all out either. As you have seen they can dig tunnels to get over here too. Besides, when they come over here we're giving them our money & taking on their problems of being poor & criminal anyway. At least this way they are subject to our laws & paying taxes which is what almost every poster has been complaining about anyway. Regarding your comment on Iraq, as best I can tell our intention is not to take over Iraq & more to the point Iraq was not the subject of discussion for this forum. But then I'm just a simpleton & don't know any better anyway, right?

  • me-in-raeford Mar 29, 2007

    jmr...you don't know my race!

    personally...I prefer to be known for my potato sack racing skills...

  • Tarheel born Mar 29, 2007

    scottsdogscooby, what a novel idea. More nation building. Uh, isn't that what we're doing in Iraq? Isn't working out to well. So let's annex a poor country with no oil, lots of poverty, drug cartels that practically have more money than the goverments and all our border problems will be solved. Sorry, I'd rather give my kids inheritance to the Minute Men.