Fake ID trade keeps going strong in LA, even after 5 arrests

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Five men from the MacArthur Park area were recently arrested for allegedly making, distributing and selling fake IDs, mostly to immigrants.

For many years, the area around 7th Street and Alvarado Boulevard has been the go-to place for illegal IDs. All the IDs — including driver's licenses, green cards and passports — are made in area apartments or warehouses. They're then distributed and sold to customers who pay between $60 and $120 for the document.

There's always a demand for fake IDs, according to Jose Martinez, supervising investigator with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which led the recent arrests. Now cell phones make the trade easier, Martinez says.

“Technology is facilitating these activities," says Martinez. "Electronic devices are being used to communicate, and information is being sent via either cell phones or any other electronic devices to the [fake ID] mill, and also to pass on information to the runners.”

There are believed to be two primary fake ID mills in the MacArthur Park area, working in conjunction with independent middlemen.

The so-called "runners" can complete most of their illegal transactions these days without much running around, all while staying under the radar.

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