Glen Burnie MVA Employee and Four Co-conspirators Indicted for Selling Fraudulent Maryland Identification Documents
One Co-Conspirator Also Indicted on Drug and Gun Charges
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) employee Terrell Smith, age 26, of Baltimore; Anthony Ballard, age 37, of Baltimore; Deshaun Dennis, age 29, of Dover, Delaware; William Jones, age 26, and Timothy Hanzer, age 32, both of Somerset County, Maryland, for conspiring to produce and sell, and selling, unlawfully produced Maryland driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by the MVA, and for aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The indictment was returned on January 8, 2008 and unsealed today upon the arrest of all the defendants.
“A state driver’s license is generally accepted as an official form of identification, so it is very important that the Motor Vehicle Administration be free of corruption. I am grateful to MVA investigators for their continuing work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ICE and other federal agencies to identify and prosecute corrupt MVA employees,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.
According to the nine count indictment, from December 2005 to October 2007 the defendants conspired to produce and transfer 25 unlawfully produced identification documents in the names of the defendants and other individuals. Smith was employed at the MVA office in Glen Burnie, Maryland where he issued Maryland driver’s licenses and identification cards. The co-conspirators phoned or met with Smith at the Glen Burnie MVA to arrange for Smith to produce and provide to them unlawfully produced identification documents, including Maryland driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, commercial driver license learner’s permits, driver’s licenses with motorcycle privileges and Maryland Identification Cards. Ballard, Dennis and Jones each paid money to Smith in return for Smith producing unlawful identification documents.
The indictment also alleges that Ballard, Dennis, Jones and Hanzer used the name, date of birth or social security number of other individuals in connection with the production and transfer of the unlawfully produced identification documents.
The defendants each face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy, and for producing and transferring unlawfully produced identification documents. Ballard, Dennis, Jones and Hanzer also face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, consecutive to any sentence imposed for conspiracy and transferring unlawfully produced documents. The defendants are scheduled to have their initial appearances in federal district court at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon.
Ballard is also charged by separate indictment with possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and cocaine base, and with two counts of being a felon in possession of a gun. The indictment seeks forfeiture of $31,125 in cash, and property located in Baltimore. Ballard faces a maximum sentence of life in prison on the drug charge; and life in prison on each of the two gun counts.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Investigations Section of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Investigation and Security Services Division for their investigative work. The case originated with information provided by the MVA. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Harry M. Gruber and Kwame J. Manley, who are prosecuting these cases.