Upper Marlboro Man Convicted in Scheme to Sell Fraudulently Issued Maryland Driver’s Licenses

Conspirators Sold Driver’s Licenses Fraudulently Issued from the Largo Branch of MVA

July 22, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal jury convicted Patrick Gordon, age 32 of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, today for his participation in a conspiracy to produce and sell Maryland driver’s licenses to individuals who were not entitled to obtain the licenses lawfully, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to testimony at the one week trial, from July 2008 to January 3, 2009 applicants for Maryland driver’s licenses who were not entitled to obtain the licenses lawfully paid Gordon and his wife, Natalie Palmer, thousands of dollars to obtain fraudulently issued Maryland driver’s licenses. Gordon and Palmer gave the names, addresses and other information that applicants wished to appear on their driver’s licenses to Avanti Blackwell, a former employee of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Blackwell forwarded this information to Evita Baker, an MVA employee who worked Saturday shifts at the MVA’s Largo Branch. Gordon and Palmer helped the customers travel to the Largo Branch and then directed them to Baker’s workstation to obtain the unlawfully produced driver’s licenses. Gordon and Palmer paid Baker and Blackwell $2,000, to be shared between them, for each fraudulently issued Maryland driver’s license that Baker produced and transferred to the customers.

The conspirators received a total of at least $128,000 from approximately 64 applicants who sought to obtain unlawfully produced driver’s licenses. The government seeks forfeiture of this amount, plus two vehicles and a semi-automatic pistol.

Gordon faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison each for conspiracy to produce and transfer identification documents produced without lawful authority; aiding and abetting the production of identification documents produced without lawful authority; and aiding and abetting the transfer of identification documents produced without lawful authority. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. scheduled sentencing for October 19, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.

Avanti Blackwell, age 24, of Accokeek, Maryland; Evita Baker, age 23, of Forestville, Maryland; and Natalie Palmer, age 35, of Upper Marlboro, previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the scheme and are scheduled to be sentenced on September 21, 2009; September 30, 2009; and October 5, 2009, respectively. All three sentencings are scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration - Investigation and Security Services Division and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Pauze and Robert K. Hur, who are prosecuting the case.



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