BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A booming illegal business busted.  A group of men is accused of selling fake IDs to illegal immigrants.

Weijia Jiang has more on how police stopped this multi-million dollar ring.

Federal prosecutors say the 200-block of South Broadway Street in upper Fells Point was home to an elaborate paper mill, where a team churned out thousands of fake immigration documents like Social Security cards and permanent resident cards, then sold them on the street.  A 32-count indictment alleges eight defendants brought in nearly $2 million since 2008.

“These defendants had an organization that controlled the neighborhood on Broadway and they used intimidation to prevent anyone from opening up a competing shop,” said U.S. State’s Attorney Rod Rosenstein.

“Most Spanish community moves around here so for them, I think it’s easy to sell here,” said Javier Lopez.

Lopez immigrated to the city 12 years ago.  He says for many, getting documents—real or fake—is a matter of survival.

“They need to work, they need papers here so some people, they buy illegal papers to get jobs because they have to take care of their families,” Lopez said.

But community leaders say a crime is a crime, no matter the motive.

“As soon as people start breaking the law, it’s the cracked window syndrome.  Something starts to happen like that, other things happen and it just gets bad,” said Arthur Perschetz, Fells Point Residents’ Association.

It’s not just people who live here who are stakeholders.  Business owners say they’ve battled with this problem for years.

“No papers, no work,” said Nicholas Ramos, who owns Archos.

Ramos says he verifies employee documents with the government to protect his own records.

“We need to make sure it’s legal and make copies of the papers and make a phone call,” Ramos said.

Ramos says taking a chance is not worth it.

Prosecutors say all eight defendants are in this country illegally.  Though accused of producing detailed U.S. papers in court Tuesday, they all needed interpreters because they don’t speak English.

Seven men are in police custody.  Police are still trying to locate and arrest one more.

Comments (27)
  1. tracee says:

    well, in spite of us being in a freaking recession we WILL provide interpreter’s. The dumbocrats will probably want us to feed their children while they’re in jail or the ACLU will sue bc the ring was busted up.

    If our federal justice department was doing their job, they may be able to break up criminal enterprises like this…but…NOoooooo, they want to sue Alabama for instituting laws in response to overrun illegal immigration. What pathetic governmental agencies.

    1. Patricia Smith says:

      quit whining..its unattractive..

  2. ferguson says:

    Great job by law enforcement. Now make it count by giving these criminals some meaningful punishment, not just a slap on the wrist and probation.

    1. Eric says:

      the only meaningful punishment is deportation so we dont spend more money on them keeping them in jail. But the again if we deport them the f’ers will just come back.

      1. Bmorearmed says:


  3. Jerry says:

    tracee I agree with you a 100%. We also have an idiot running the state that want’s to help their kids go to our schools. First we got this sting which will cost us god knows how much to follow up and check all the paper work , then deporting them back. Then we’re ( the state ) is gonna spend god knows how much to find out what to do with the families. This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for the Decasa and the ACLU to put up a fight . I hope O’Malley saw this report and then maybe he’ll wake up and do the same thing that Alabama did. If anyone tries to sue tell them there’s the door don’t let it hit you on the way out.

    1. wake-up says:

      The second largest population in the states .The republican presidents in the last 30 years did nothing to stop it because the Bush family have been part of the Latino community for as long as they have been in politics.

      1. TJN72 says:

        Yea , and I just got a flat tire and it’s Bushes fault

  4. stupid north americans says:

    Business wants them here and they will stay here! The fake american dream lives on!

  5. Mike says:

    Welcome to The Third World State of MexiMaryland. We can Thank The Boy King . The Illegals have more Rights in this State than Citizens. Thank You Boy King……..

  6. Jaquas says:

    And you wonder why we call them ILLEGALS? Here you go O’Malley!!!!!!

  7. h says:

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close their bad cases.
    Several DEA in the San Francisco Bay Area where supplying drugs that had been stolen from evidence vaults to gangs for resale. To maximize profit, evidence was mostly stolen from cases involving suspects that had payed bribes.

    1. Ravensfan says:

      Response to H: What does this have to do with an illegal Fake ID Ring in Maryland? Besides, anyone can make accusations- where is yours? This article deals with the “police” in Maryland. It makes no mention on Federal Law Enforcement. It only references to Federal Prosecutors due to the crime. No where does it say the FBI or DEA was involved. I applaud the efforts of the law enforcement community for breaking up this drug ring. Now the rest is up to our judicial system.

  8. Go Home Naysayer. says:

    Its easy to sit back in one’s armchair and dream up reasons why people should not be happy that justice is prevailing in this case. Nobody is saying that the police in Baltimore are perfect; corruption is everywhere. However, the bottom line is that an illegal ID ring has been identified, arrests have been made, and perhaps thousands of illegal immigrants will not have the means to fill American jobs, while US citizens rely on unemployment.
    Good job Baltimore! Lets regard this case for what it truly is…a success story for law enforcement, that serves the needs of the people and is the result of resources that were well-spent!

  9. Alex says:

    Hey O’Malley – just give them a free college education at my expense and its all good for you, right? More Illeglas equal more voters for the corrupt Maryland political machine

  10. Little Bush Lied says:

    Some “FACT’S” just for you:
    And if you can read you to can look them up.
    Remember, it was a REPUBLICAN president by the name of REAGAN that gave illegal’s AMNESTY, and induced the flood of illegal’s that followed (12 million). Since a DEMOCRAT president named OBAMA took over, more deportations have happened than under the REPUBLICAN BUSH!

  11. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    What about the “ILLEGAL ALIENS”? Nobody (ILLEGAL ALIENS) were rounded up and deported? How about the business’s that ask for ID, don’t they have the list to check against? Is MD one of the states that check and have that list from the GOV’T? The gov’t is worried more about the money than finding “ILLEGAL ALIENS”.

  12. Daisy says:

    They are breaking up illegal fake ID rings. but on the other hand trying to give the illegals real IDS? I am confused. Wasn’t O’Malley just trying to issue Illegals Maryland Driver’s licenses, and state tuition, and healthcare? Geez, mixed messages. Apparently the moral here is, Don’t let the criminals ruin Maryland… leave it to the politicians.

  13. Raven X says:

    Little Bush Lied…..get a life man. All you are doing is commenting on your personal hatred of Bush. Bush has not been president for over 2 years…get real. Everything is the fault of Bush and Fox News.

  14. est 1988 says:

    Wow,its a good thing they finally got caught.6 years ago someone offered to take me to that location so that I could purchase an i.d saying I was 21 years old.I declined of course but I will say their business was definetely booming because I know people who have used their services.Its sad, illegals will do anything to stay in this country except doing the right thing which would be going through the process to actually become a legal citizen.Smh

  15. JackDaniels says:


  16. Can't Fix Stupid says:

    I would not be surprised if Casa de Maryland was involved in that ring somehow. One statement that caught my eye was “a crime is a crime”. On that note, I guess when we say “illegal is illegal” it’s also a true statement. If these people are so interested in working and supporting their families, they need to become LEGAL. Using fake ID is fraud and if caught, they should be convicted of fraud and then deported.

    By the way, I reported each and every comment made by Little Bush Lied. I don’t think Phishing is not allowed on these comments site and it’s not the place to begin with; especially when you are using a lot of words and saying absolutely nothing. Sounds like a nut case to me.

  17. Kay says:

    I am confused!!! Now all of a sudden they are ILLEGALS (WHICH THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN). O (DUMB A**) Malley wants them to go to college and take care of them. So now what?? Send their a***s back to where they came from, I am sick of taking care of them and can barely pay my own bills!!!

  18. Tom says:

    Maryland already gives illegals driver’s licenses and voter cards, so why is this a big deal? Oh yeah, we have to sympathize with the illegals, it’s politically correct.

    Stupid effing state.

  19. Tom says:

    Everyone, start talking to Immigration and Border Protection about how Maryland is harboring illegal aliens. They will step in. Write them and call them! State politicians will NOT help. You need to contact federal law enforcement!!!