A multi-agency law enforcement raid Thursday arrested 21 people suspected of selling equipment counterfeiters use to create fake driver’s licenses and other identification cards.
The operation targeted 17 businesses in and around MacArthur Park just west of downtown Los Angeles. More than 300 federal agents, sheriff’s deputies and police officers took part.
A related federal grand jury indictment charges dozens of people with possession of document-making equipment, fraud and misuse of visas, permits and other documents, among other violations. Federal authorities say they focused on Alejandro Morales Serrano — they suspect that he ran an operation that sold the raw materials for fake IDs used or distributed in 40 states and Mexico.
The bogus documents allegedly included Social Security cards, Mexican consular ID cards, drivers licenses and green cards.
Investigators say wiretap evidence suggests that Serrano’s been in the fake ID business for a decade. Authorities say several suspects are still fugitives. Some are subject to deportation.