FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
OCTOBER 15, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SILVER SPRING MAN SENTENCED FOR CONSPIRACY TO PRODUCE AND SELL MARYLAND IDENTIFICATION CARDS TO ILLEGAL ALIENS
Conspired to Sell Over 100 False MVA Identification Documents
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Daniel Bernabe Aranada Mellado , age 40, of Silver Spring, Maryland today to 19 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for conspiracy to produce and transfer more than 100 identification documents, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his guilty plea, from May 26, 2004 to February 7, 2005, Aranada Mellado worked for Val’s Driving School, located on Georgia Avenue in Wheaton, Maryland, or for Valentin Milstein, the owner of the business. Val’s Driving School offered certified driver instruction courses. During this time, James Edwin Harrell was an employee of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (“MVA”), working at its branch located on Baltimore Avenue in Beltsville, Maryland.
Aranada Mellado assisted individuals who were interested in obtaining Maryland Identification Cards, but did not have the documentation to legally obtain such identification documents, by: meeting with prospective MVA Identification Card applicants at the Beltsville MVA, Val’s Driving School, and other businesses in the Beltsville area; driving applicants from the general vicinity of Val’s Driving School to the Beltsville MVA; collecting money from the applicants; advising applicants how to obtain unlawful identification cards from James Harrell; and providing applicants with unlawfully produced Maryland Identification Cards. In return for his assistance, Milstein paid Aranada Mellado $500 a week.
James Harrell, age 51, of Beltsville, pleaded guilty to production and transfer of an identification document produced without lawful authority and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison at his sentencing on January 7, 2008.
Valentin Roosevelt Milstein, age 62, of Silver Spring, Maryland, has pleaded guilty to transfer of an identification document produced without lawful authority and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison at his sentencing, which has not yet been set.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration - Internal Investigations Department for their investigative work, and commended Assistant United States Attorney Harry M. Gruber, who is prosecuting the case.