Eight Indicted in Alleged ID Scheme

9-9-05 - Eight people, including two who worked in the Department of Public Safety's driver's license division, have been accused in an illegal scheme to provide state driver's licenses and identification cards to illegal immigrants.

Federal and state authorities arrested Kelenia Flores Romero, 36, of Lancaster; Maria Villanueva, 33, of Irving; and Marco Antonio Rabanal, 48, and Rosa Maria Romero, 47, both of Garland, on Thursday.

Gerardo Ruiz Garcia, 35, of Lancaster, was in custody in an unrelated federal case in Laredo. David Julio Callirgos, 50, of Garland; and Julia Garcia, 30, and Claudia Garcia Salinas, 29, both of Cedar Hill, are expected to surrender within the week, federal prosecutors said.

A federal indictment unsealed Thursday alleges that Julia Garcia and Claudia Garcia Salinas, who work in the driver's license division, solicited and accepted bribes from the other six in return for illegally approving applications.

The indictment alleges the six would find people who could not produce legitimate IDs and sell them driver's licenses and personal identification cards for $300 to $1,200 apiece.

The scheme allegedly ran from 1999 to March 2004.

All eight are accused of one count of conspiracy to transfer unlawfully issued identification documents. They face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Each is also charged with five counts of mail fraud and face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Flores, Ruiz and Julia Garcia are also each charged with three counts of unlawful transfer of an identification document, and face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. Villanueva is charged with two counts of that offense and Claudia Garcia Salinas is charged with one count of that offense.