CHICAGO – Federal authorities said Wednesday that 22 people have been charged with participating in a conspiracy to make false identification documents.
The fake documents include driver's licenses from various states; immigration papers such as permanent residency cards, commonly referred to as Green Cards; and other government-issued documents, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office.
Officials say 12 of the defendants were arrested Tuesday in Chicago. Ten others are fugitives, including four believed to be in Mexico, officials said.
According to the complaint affidavit, the fraudulent document organization originated in Mexico and also is thought to be active in Los Angeles and Denver.
Elissa A. Brown, special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations in Chicago, said fraudulent documents help criminals and terrorists blend into society.
Federal authorities said they believe the organization generates millions of dollars in illegal proceeds each year in Chicago.