The Chicago Crime Commission Supports Halting Alleged False Identity Rings to Protect National Security


CHICAGO, April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed criminal charges pertaining to a counterfeit identification document business allegedly generating millions of dollars a year in profits for one Mexican-based crime organization. This business has, according to the charges, become "competitive and violent" and turned deadly for one former member of the organization who attempted to go into a competitive enterprise in Indiana.

The Chicago Crime Commission Gang Book, published in 2006, listed the Chicago Police Department District maps and shows the 10th District Gang Territorial Boundary for the Little Village community and in particular the Discount Mall at 26th and Albany. The Chicago Police Department documents list that area as under the influence of the organized crime gang known as the Latin Kings. Further information discussed in the Gang Book, as provided by law enforcement, described the efforts to create false identity cards, green cards, passports and driver's licenses as an active business of the organized gangs. In addition to the problems associated with identify theft generally, it was stated that the selling of false identity paperwork to illegal aliens may make these gangs a viable security threat since terrorist organizations are looking for methods to provide their members with the means to move about freely in U.S. society.

As a member of the Illinois House False Identification Task Force, the Chicago Crime Commission advocated that the sale of false identification documentation must be addressed legislatively to protect consumers, victims of identify fraud, and legitimate businesses. Information known to the Commission indicates that members of organized crime groups produce false law enforcement credentials and citizenship identification documents. That these documents could be sold to persons seeking to harm the U.S. poses serious concerns for law enforcement.

Although the allegations disclosed to date do not identify the subjects of the investigation as connected to the Latin King gang and do not allege any direct contact with terrorist organizations, the potential threat to our homeland security cannot be ignored. Law enforcement has alleged instances of false identity paperwork being sold and transferred to foreign countries with no concern as to the true identity of the customers or the danger those customers could pose to the United States.

Because of this danger to our homeland security, the efforts to stop the production of counterfeit identification documents must be understood and supported. The participants in these illegal enterprises exhibit no loyalty to the United States and are only interested in monetary gain. Such activity presents opportunities for al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to gain the ability to infiltrate the United States at will. The Department of Justice recognized this danger and is acting appropriately to address this threat to our homeland security.