US Customs and Border Protection officers in Memphis and Ohio have foiled Chinese smugglers trying to ship fake IDs to US college students. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.
It’s going to be harder for some underage college co-eds to score mai tais on spring break this year, thanks to a federal crackdown on fake IDs arriving from Hong Kong.
US Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati seized 119 counterfeit international driver’s licenses over the past two months. Federal officials told Coffee or Die Magazine that overseas counterfeiters try to smuggle more bogus ID shipments into the US in the weeks leading up to spring break at campuses nationwide.
“Honestly, some of these are really good,” said Richard Gillespie, US Customs and Border Protection’s Port of Cincinnati director, adding that he’s seen other IDs over the years “that were amazing,” too.
These smugglers were foiled because the international driver’s licenses didn’t come from the two companies authorized to print the IDs in the US: the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance. Officials worry about fake IDs entering or leaving the US because the bogus records are prized by human traffickers and organized crime syndicates.
“Oftentimes, people with nefarious intent or bad actors, if you will, could potentially utilize these fake IDs to create a breeder document,” said Gillespie.
Also called “fantasy” documents, breeder IDs are seemingly legitimate documents that can be used to procure real cards, badges, and licenses. Criminals then use those real records to steal identities, enter the US unlawfully, or obtain government benefits they don’t deserve.
“You don’t really know what the intent is, and frequently we’ll encounter driver’s licenses or other documents here […] that are destined to people who have criminal histories or involvement in particular groups,” Gillespie said. “We really don’t want them to have these types of things.”
Since the federal fiscal year began on Oct. 1, US Customs and Border Protection officers in Memphis have seized 4,516 fake IDs. The most popular dates of birth fall between 1999 and 2000, indicating that the person showing the license to a bartender has reached the legal drinking age of 21, according to Memphis Port Director Michael Neipert.
Those counterfeit IDs were bound for George Mason University, the California Institute of Technology, Auburn University, Post University, Louisiana State University, and Tulane University, and originated in southern China.
Read Next: Tinseltown Rescue: Scooby, a Raging River, Los Angeles Firefighters, Gilligan’s Island
Noelle is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die through a fellowship from Military Veterans in Journalism. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and interned with the US Army Cadet Command. Noelle also worked as a civilian journalist covering several units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment on Fort Benning, before she joined the military as a public affairs specialist.
The Air Force announced the permanent location for many more U.S. Space Force units Wednesday — and ...
Who exactly was Gen. Curtis LeMay? And how did he become the commander who razed more than 60 Japanese cities during World War II?
President Joe Biden has nominated a highly decorated Marine officer who has been involved in the transformation of the force to be the next Marine Corps commandant.
When the USS Arizona sank, it took 1,177 crew members with it. Today it remains beneath the water as a memorial to all those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.
A pair of U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew low over Sarajevo and several other Bosnian cities...
Lockheed Martin’s SR-71 Blackbird was a government secret for years. Now retired, a newer version plans to take its place.
Soldiers of the 9th Infantry Regiment made a desperate retreat as North Korean troops closed in arou...
In this installment of “Dear Jack,” Marine veteran and amateur life coach Jack Mandaville advises a lieutenant colonel on how to restore order in the lower ranks.