GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two West Michigan men are facing federal charges over allegedly running an operation to produce and distribute phony identification documents for a fee.
Mario Miguel-Lopez and Bruno Freddy Ramirez-Camela are both facing three felony counts of fraud with identification documents.
Miguel-Lopez and Ramirez-Camela were allegedly running an operation to produce phony United States Permanent Resident Cards, United States Social Security Account Number Cards and driver's licenses that appeared to be issued by the states of Michigan and Illinois, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Michigan.
They were allegedly selling the phony documents to people who were "known or believed to be present in the United States illegally."
The federal indictment alleges that Miguel-Lopez would take requests for phony documents from people living in West Michigan who needed them for work. He would then allegedly request a photograph of the person requesting the documents.
The documents allege that Ramirez-Camela would then take that information and produce the phony documents requested in Chicago. The documents would then allegedly be sent back to Miguel-Lopez through the mail, who would then deliver the documents to whoever requested them.
Both men are alleged to have shared the profits earned.
The documents state that a source with the Department of Homeland Security attempted to have Miguel-Lopez produce fraudalent documents for them in December of 2019. The source texted a photo and further information to Ramirez-Camela, documents say.
It is alleged that a fraudulent U.S. Permanent Resident Card and a U.S. Social Security Account Number Card were produced and given to the Homeland Security source for $230.
The documents allege that another set of fraudulent documents were produced by the pair in September of 2020, this time charging the source $250.
The federal indictment requests that the men forfeit several items seemingly connected to the production of fraudulent documents, including a card maker, a laminator, a tray of "plastic card stock bearing holograms," and a bag of blank white plastic cards.
Miguel-Lopez and Ramirez-Camela have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Both men face a maximum of 15 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000 for each of the three felony charges. They also risk being removed from the country.
The men are expected back in court on Dec. 18 for a final pretrial conference. Their trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 5.