United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Kerman Resident Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Fraudently Issue California Driver Licenses
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, June 18, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. — Jose Manuel Garcia, 44, of Kerman, pleaded guilty today to a conspiracy to unlawfully produce California Driver’s Licenses, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to his plea agreement, Garcia admitted he fraudulently obtained a Class A commercial driver’s license after providing information about himself to co-defendant Victor Vasquez, who in turn passed the information on to a DMV employee who altered Garcia’s license application to reflect that he had taken and passed all required DMV driving tests. As Garcia knew, he had not taken and passed the tests. Garcia admitted he paid Vasquez and the DMV employee to alter the records. Garcia also admitted that he recruited another person who fraudulently obtained a Class C California drivers license by the same means.
Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on September 10, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The DMV employee, co-defendant Alfonso Casarez, and seven other co-defendants currently await trial. Casarez’s next court date is July 23, 2012. The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Investigations Division, Office of Internal Affairs. Assistant United States Attorneys Henry Z. Carbajal III and Grant B. Rabenn are prosecuting the case.