Agents from U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested
16 people in five separate locations in the Washington, DC, metro area in
connection with false document, open-air markets in DC and Maryland.
The agents seized several bags of evidence, including
fraudulent social security cards, laminating machines and typewriters. Of the
16 individuals arrested, 11 were illegal immigrants.
According to an ICE news release, all of the people arrested
could face criminal charges, while the immigrants face possible deportation as
well. Several of the immigrants were also discovered with illegal firearms.
The busts came as part of Operation Card Shark, a joint
effort by ICE, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, U.S.
Secret Services Uniform Division; the Social Security Administration’s Office
of the Inspector General, and the DC Metropolitan Police Department.
The operation’s main purpose is to seek and break up
document counterfeiters. It has been
running since 2002 and has dismantled three counterfeit document vending
organizations and identified several others.