State Busts Fake License Ring Featured

By Staff Writer October 01, 2018

Three individuals pleaded guilty recently to federal crimes after Michigan’s Secretary of State staff turned over their investigation to state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Pleading guilty were Eddie Michael Balderramas  and his son, Michael James Balderramas, both of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Michelle Martinez-Marte, of Rhode Island. According to the plea agreements, between April 4, 2016 and July 20, 2017, the three defendants allegedly conspired to assist individuals primarily from the Dominican Republic who were not legally present in the United States in obtaining Michigan driver’s licenses using false or stolen Puerto Rican identification documents.

After receiving information about an individual with a fraudulently issued Michigan driver’s license who had been arrested out of state, the Secretary of State Office of Investigative Services’ staff worked with other state and federal law enforcement agencies over the past year. Irregularities in driver’s license applications and other documents were just some of the red flags that tipped off Office of Investigative Services’ staff to the illegal activity.

Once the activities of the Balderramases at Secretary of State offices were identified by investigators, federal and state law enforcement agencies were contacted.
The defendants face up to 15 years in prison on the conspiracy charge.

Martinez-Marte and Eddie Balderramas face an additional two years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft. Martinez-Marte faces an additional 2 years in prison for an additional conviction of illegally re-entering the United States after having been previously deported.

Last modified on Monday, 01 October 2018 22:51

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