Former Correctional Officer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Smuggling Controlled Substances Into The Prince George’s County Department of Corrections Detention Facility
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang sentenced Marion Rose Payne, age 55, of Harwood, Maryland, on August 15, 2022, to 15 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to produce and transfer identification documents without lawful authority, specifically, Maryland driver’s licenses. Judge Chuang also ordered Payne to forfeit $25,000, which constitutes the proceeds of Payne’s participation in the criminal conspiracy.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore.
According to her plea agreement, from at least July 2015 through March 2016, Payne and Co-Conspirator 2 were both employees of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and worked in the Largo, Maryland MVA branch office. Payne’s duties at the MVA included the issuance of Maryland driver’s licenses.
As detailed in her plea agreement, Payne, co-Conspirator 2 and Warner Antonio Portillo conspired to produce and transfer Maryland driver’s licenses without lawful authority. Specifically, Portillo and others met with prospective Maryland driver’s license applicants who were willing to pay money to obtain a driver’s license illegally, typically because the applicants were illegal aliens without lawful legal status in the United States or were otherwise unable to obtain a lawfully issued driver’s license. The applicants paid Portillo and others between $800 and $5,000 in cash for each fraudulently issued Maryland driver’s license.
Portillo and others assisted the applicants to travel to the Largo branch of the MVA and directed the applicants to Payne’s or Co-Conspirator 2’s workstation, where applicants obtained Maryland driver’s licenses produced by Payne or Co-Conspirator 2 without lawful authority. Payne knew that the documents used in support of the driver’s licenses were fraudulent. In exchange for the improperly issued driver’s licenses, Portillo paid Payne at least $25,000 in cash and gifts. The conspiracy resulted in the unlawful production and transfer of at least 276 Maryland driver’s licenses.
Warner Antonio Portillo, age 37, of Manassas, Virginia, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended HSI for its work in the investigation and thanked the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Investigation and Security Services for its assistance. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly O. Hayes and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Mund, who prosecuted the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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