State Officials Break Up Driver’s License Ring

Luis Raul Collazo-Medrano
Albuquerque JournalA phone call to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division from a Brazilian woman living in Georgia helped investigators uncover a complex scheme that likely resulted in hundreds of New Mexico driver’s licenses being issued to illegal aliens. “This is one of the largest and most sophisticated driver’s license fraud rings we have uncovered,” state Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla said at a news conference here Wednesday. Padilla was joined by 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler, who said the ring — run by a family of Mexican nationals and their colleagues — used eight rented houses in Portales and Clovis over a two-year period to help 54 illegal aliens obtain New Mexico licenses. The ring, allegedly headed by Luis Raul Collazo-Medrano, used the addresses to obtain fake documents — such as rental agreements, utility bills, vehicle titles and proof of auto insurance — to get driver’s licenses. One of Collazo-Medrano’s accomplices, Veronica Diaz of Portales, is alleged to have used her notary public status to fraudulently notarize hundreds of such documents. Chandler said Collazo-Medrano recruited illegal aliens living in Illinois, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, and charged them $4,000 apiece to transport them to New Mexico, obtain the illegal documents and get a driver’s license. Fifty-four such licenses have been linked directly to the eight addresses in Portales and Clovis, and helped illegal aliens from Mexico, El Salvador, Brazil, Guatemala, Uruguay and Honduras get licenses. Read More News New Mexico (subscription)



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