News and Press Releases

Federal Way Employee Conspired with Others to Sell Licenses to Brazilian Nationals Who Failed Driving Tests

September 19, 2006

ZAGARI SHUNTA MOORE, 37, of Federal Way, Washington and MAURO MARTINS, 45, of Kirkland, Washington have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle for Conspiracy to Commit Document Fraud. MOORE, an employee at the Washington State Department of Licensing, is alleged to have sold Washington Driver’s Licenses to more than 156 people who did not pass the required driver’s license tests. MARTINS brought many of the applicants, Brazilian nationals who were in the U.S. illegally, to the Federal Way licensing office where MOORE issued the licenses. If convicted the pair face up to 15 years in prison.

In addition to MOORE and MARTINS, a third co-conspirator was charged today in connection with the scheme. JACKSON RONALDO DA CONCEICAO, 31, of Boston, Massachusetts, was arrested September 15, 2006 as he prepared to take several Brazilian nationals to get their driver’s licenses. According to records filed in the case, DA CONCEICAO’s role was to recruit Brazilian nationals in the Boston area to fly to Seattle to get Washington drivers licenses. Washington State does not require a social security number or proof that the applicant is in the country legally. In fact, the Brazilians who paid as much as $2,000 for these drivers licenses had overstayed their visas to be in the U.S. Both MARTINS and DA CONCEICAO are Brazilian nationals who overstayed their visas.

According to documents filed in the case, MOORE was allegedly paid $250 to provide a drivers license to applicants who could not pass the test. Investigators with the Department of Licensing determined that MOORE was altering computer records regarding test scores. The Department of Licensing referred the case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because many of the applicants who received unauthorized drivers licenses do not have legal standing in the United States. “This type of criminal activity further facilitates illegal immigration by providing identification documents to individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States,” stated Leigh Winchell, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Seattle Region. “ICE is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to fully investigate and dismantle these groups.”

These charges contain allegations that have not yet been proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt. Trial is scheduled for November 21, 2006.

This case was investigated by the Washington State Department of Licensing and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ye-Ting Woo.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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