Mount Pleasant woman charged with issuing fake I.D. cards to illegal immigrants
By Shavonne Potts
ALBEMARLE ó A Mount Pleasant woman is facing federal charges for issuing identification cards to illegal immigrants.
Authorities had been investigating Susan Honeycutt, 50, a license examiner at the Albermarle DMV, for about 18 months. She has been a license examiner since 1999.
Investigators say between January 2007 and June 2008 Honeycutt issued 150 fake North Carolina driver’s licenses with nonexistent addresses.Investigators say Honeycutt and two men made the transactions happen by charging others up to $5,000 to come to North Carolina to process the licenses. In fact, none of the people who received the 150 licenses Honeycutt issued were legal.
According to documents filed in New York, from January 1, 2007, to around June 18, 2008, Vijendra Gangadeen and Richie Seupersad, made trips to North Carolina from New York.
All three are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, trafficking in false identification documents and aiding and abetting.
A special agent with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement submitted an affidavit June 26 to establish probable cause.The N.C. Department of Transportation and ICE officals were conducting a joint investigation. In the document, the agent provides details of recorded telephone conversations between Gangadeen and a confidential source.
On March 31, 2008, Gangadeen, who is an illegal alien, drove from Queens, N.Y., through the Bronx, N.Y., as part of his trip to North Carolina, a federal complaint said.
Based on the recorded conversations, investigators discovered Gangadeen had made at least 10 trips between May 2007 and January 2008 to North Carolina.
A surveillance video was taken June 18, 2008, at the Albermarle DMV office parking lot. The video shows Seupersad arriving in a car around 1 p.m. with two others, whom the document identifies as “customer-3” and “customer-4”, to have driver’s licenses made. Both customers, the affidavit said, were illegal aliens.
Seupersad was Gangadeen’s North Carolina contact.In a statement from a N.C. DMV representative, investigators said each license examiner is issued a Resource Access Facility Indentification number (RAC ID) that is linked to each license an examiner issues.
Authorities found the RAC ID assigned to Honeycutt issued a fraudulent license to Gangadeen in April 2007. The ID had false information, including a nonexistent North Carolina address. A year later, Honeycutt issued Gangadeen a replacement North Carolina license and a driver’s license to a “Customer-2,” an illegal alien.Honeycutt was arrested June 27, Gangadeen and Seupersad, three days later.All have been released on bond ó Honeycutt, $50,000 and both Seupersad and Gangadeen, $150,000.
The two men are restricted to only travel in parts of New York and New Jersey.Gangadeen is represented by New York attorney John J. Byrnes and Honeycutt is represented by Todd Smith, of Graham, while Seupersad’s attorney is Andrew Patel, based in New York.
As officials continue to investigate, two other Albemarle DMV employees were placed on administrative leave.
Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford, said the only similar fake ID scam they’ve encountered in Rowan in recent years was in early 2006 when an East Spencer couple were found with computers, digital cameras, laminators and other office supplies. It was suspected the man and woman, who were illegal, were making false ID’s for other illegal immigrants.