A Houston Federal Grand Jury Indictment, unsealed yesterday by U.S. Attorney Juan Angel Moreno, gives the details behind the arrests of Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper Mark DeArza, DPS clerk Lidia Gutierrez, and service station manager Maen Bittar, each charged with conspiracy to produce illegal identifications by selling fraudulent Texas drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants.
Apparently, this profitable DPS moonlighting business had been operating since last March. No news yet on how many Texas driver's licenses were sold. And, while they were fraudulently obtained, these weren't fake IDs made with the latest computer technology or some copier gizmo. Nope.
These buyers got the real thing: actual Texas Drivers' Licenses were being sold here. Real Ones. Just like the one in your wallet.
Smooth: Pay at the Gas Station, Scoot Over to the DPS Station and Get Your License
Apparently, they thought this through, and things were efficient: the service station guy sold the fake licenses to illegal immigrants from his gas station. Price? $3000 per license. Once he had the cash, he would send the buyers over to the nearby DPS office.
That's right: they walked right into the DPS office, where the clerk and the trooper would process them -- complete with driving test -- nevermind that they had no legal paperwork to establish citizenship, identity, or anything else.
These three are all out on bail right now ($50,000 each). If convicted of these federal charges, they may get 15 years in a federal facility along with a big, big fine of $250,000.00.
How Much Money Did They Make -- We Don't Know.
Let's see. Setting aside the illegally gotten gains here and just considering numbers: $250,000 equals 83 sales of $3000 Licenses. Wonder how much these folk made since March? Did they each sell over 14 licenses a month? Does this fine look that big to them? Just something to ponder.