Fourth Person Found Guilty in Scheme To sell Driver's Licenses
Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Ricardo Gonzales De Arcos, 26, Marshfield, Wis., was found guilty yesterday of three charges related to his participation in a conspiracy to produce and transfer Wisconsin driver's licenses, following a two-day jury trial in federal court in Madison.
U.S. District Judge William M. Conley scheduled sentencing for September 7, 2011. Gonzales De Arcos faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison on each count.
The evidence at trial established that Gonzales De Arcos was part of a conspiracy to unlawfully produce and transfer Wisconsin driver's licenses to individuals who could not obtain licenses by lawful means because they were in the United States illegally. The defendant and others sold the licenses to these individuals throughout the State of Wisconsin for as much as $2,000 each.
The licenses were produced by an employee of the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Khue Xiong. Xiong worked at the Stevens Point, Wis. branch of the DMV until July 22, 2010, when he was fired following an investigation during which he revealed that he had produced approximately 70 driver's licenses for ineligible individuals in exchange for cash bribes. At trial, Gonzales De Arcos claimed that he did not know the licenses were being produced unlawfully.
Gonzales De Arcos was one of six individuals originally charged in an indictment unsealed on February 10, 2011. The former DMV employee, Khue Xiong, 36, Stevens Point, pleaded guilty on June 8, 2011, to accepting cash bribes. His sentencing is scheduled for August 30, 2011.
Eric Silva, 38, Stevens Point, pleaded guilty on May 31, 2011 to paying cash to Xiong. His sentencing is set for August 19, 2011.
Sebastian Cortes Vieryra, 29, Madison, Wis., pleaded guilty on May 18, 2011, to his role in producing one of the illegal licenses. His sentencing is scheduled for July 13, 2011.
Benito A. Saldana, 28, formerly of Jefferson, Wis., failed to appear for arraignment on March 10, 2011 and remains a fugitive. Rolando Lima, 36, formerly of Appleton, Wis., also remains a fugitive.
The charges against the defendants are the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The prosecution of this matter is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith P. Duchemin.
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