LAWRENCEVILLE -- At least four local men are believed connected to an alleged ring manufacturing and distributing fake identification documents for illegal immigrants, officials said.
Vincent Picard, spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Georgia, said Tuesday he was not at liberty to discuss many details about the case but did confirm that several Gwinnett County arrests were part of an "ongoing investigation related to document manufacturing." Earlier this week, warrants were issued out of Gwinnett magistrate court for suspects Jesus Olvera, 35, of Lawrenceville; Raul Mario Blancas, 56, of Norcross; and Hector Antonio Fuentes and Amador Kikroz, both with birthdates unknown at the time of filing.
Online records show Olvera was booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center at about 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, roughly 30 minutes after Fuentes was booked. Both were charged with single counts of felony first-degree forgery and false identification documents.
Picard said the other two men, as well as a fifth whose warrant had not been obtained yet, were in custody too.
According to the warrants, the suspects "did commit the offense of manufacture, alter, sell a fraudulent identification document" on several different dates between January and mid-April. The various documents included social security and permanent resident cards.
Picard confirmed the "different types of identity documents" were distributed to illegal immigrants, but could not comment on the believed scope of the alleged forgery ring.
"That's something we'll still be sorting out," he said.
Warrants described vague incident locations in southern Gwinnett, including "Buford Highway, Norcross" and "Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth."
The investigation is being carried out by ICE's Document and Benefits Fraud Task Force, which includes a member of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Picard said "really made the case." A GBI spokeswoman directed inquiries to Picard.
The suspects in the case are facing state charges, Picard said, and federal charges will likely be brought in the future.