Three Plead Guilty In Kalamazoo Scheme To Get Fake IDs For Illegal Immigrants
Guilty pleas have now been entered by three people charged with running a scheme to get Michigan drivers licenses for those in the country illegally.
The US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan says that 51-year-old Eddie Balderramas and 21-year-old Michael Balderramas of Kalamazoo, and 37-year-old Michelle Martinez-Marte of Rhode Island, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transfer identification, with Eddie and Michelle also pleading to charges of aggravated identity theft.
Martinez-Marte also had been charged with illegally reentering the US after removal.
Authorities say that the group would steal Puerto Rican identities for use by people in the country illegally, before the Balderramas' would drive to New York City and pick up their clients to drive them to Kalamazoo. They would then obtain other fake documents like paystubs and leases so their clients, mostly people from the Dominican Republic, could apply for Michigan Drivers Licenses.
The group was paid for this service, which was intended to help those in the country illegally avoid immigration authorities.
The Balderramas’ were arrested in June after their home on Westnedge Ave. was raided by federal authorities. The plea to the conspiracy charge alone carries up to 15 years in prison.