Local News

Suspects in Fake ID Scheme Unlikely to be Deported Soon

Posted December 5, 2006 9:05 p.m. EST

— Five illegal immigrants accused of making fake identification cards probably will not be deported until they serve any prison time they might receive of the alleged crime.

Raeford police uncovered the counterfeiting operation in which the suspects allegedly were making driver's licenses and Social Security cards for other illegal immigrants.

Each suspect each faces 54 charges of counterfeiting, forgery and identity theft. Each charge carries up to a three-year prison sentence.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement representative said deportation proceedings would begin immediately after any prison sentences.

The suspects were held Tuesday at the Hoke County Jail, where Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said about 10 to 12 percent of inmates being held were in the United States illegally.

"We're not getting them for shoplifting or small little larcenies or anything," Peterkin said.

"They are major crimes," such as child abuse and murder, he added.

The Hoke County Jail, which was built to handle about 60 inmates, routinely holds 80. When there is no room left, inmates are taken to other counties.