30 April, 2015
A recurring storyline that plagues college campuses is the use of fake IDs. Despite the plethora of coverage and failed attempts at using fake IDs, however, counterfeiters continue to come out of the woodwork and students still can’t seem to resist the temptation.
Over the course of the past few months, Austin police have been monitoring multiple locations in an effort to reduce underage drinking in the Downtown Austin entertainment district. As part of these efforts, the team targeted specifically the forging and use of fake IDs.
Per a report from the Statesman, initial efforts by police cited over 120 minors trying to use fake IDs to enter bars or clubs in the city’s entertainment district with the intention to consume alcohol beverages. A few weeks ago, the unit received confidential information regarding a subject living near the University of Texas campus that was supposedly forging counterfeit IDs from different states and selling them to students for $60 to $200 each.
Undercover officers were able to convince the suspect to sell them a counterfeit state ID for $200. Following the phony sale, police were able to obtain a search warrant for the subject’s residence. Upon searching the counterfeiter’s home the following items were recovered:
- 3 printers
- Numerous ink cartridges
- 2 laptops
- Over 350 blank ID cards with magnetic stripes
- 2 magnetic stripe encoders
- 1 holographic image stamp maker
- 1 UV Lamp
- 1 fake Louisiana driver license
- 2 fake Arizona driver licenses
- 5 fake Idaho driver licenses
- 2 partially printed fake IDs
- Hand written instructions on how to make fake IDs
While no official number has been established, the counterfeiters are believed to have forged and sold hundreds of fake state IDs across the state. The counterfeiters have been charged with forgery, a 3rd degree felony in Texas.
Police believe the estimated value of the fake ID cards seized in the arrests to be over $70,000. The Austin Police Department is also currently analyzing evidence to identify individuals who have purchased the phony ID cards from the suspects.