State News

August 2, 2013

16 UGA students indicted in fake ID production

ATHENS — Sixteen University of Georgia students and four students from other schools who are accused of manufacturing and distributing fake IDs have been indicted by a Clarke County grand jury.

The ring was led by two roommates who provided door-to-door services, the Athens Banner-Herald ( reported Thursday.

Campus couriers were used to take customers’ photos in their dorm rooms, collect personal information for the IDs and deliver the finished products for between $50 and $100, investigators said.

Customers told police that a courier visited their dorm rooms, used a cellphone to take their photo and sent the photos along with a text message containing their personal information back to the manufacturers.

The investigation into the counterfeit ID ring began in August 2011 and involved the University of Georgia police department and the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office, authorities said. The probe into the distribution ring spanned Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Michigan, and more than 400 fake driver’s licenses have been confiscated, police said.

The students may have distributed more than 2,000 fake IDs total, UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson told the newspaper.  

“This case was overwhelming,” Williamson said. “It was simplified for the court system to get things moving.”

The ringleaders of the distribution operation have been charged with manufacturing and distributing false identification documents, and manufacturing and distributing false identification documents containing unauthorized government seals.

Authorities said the other 18 co-defendants are charged with varying counts of distributing fraudulent documents.

Police said they executed at least 20 search warrants and seized computers, laminating devices, email account records and the contents of bank safe deposit boxes.  

The counterfeiting operation came to light because of a conflict between a student and her roommate, who was employed as a courier by the ringleaders. The student informed a resident assistant, who later told police.


Text Only
State News
  • One charged in death of Dalton woman, another sought

    A Dalton woman found dead in Calhoun earlier this month is believed to have died of a drug overdose after two Calhoun residents abandoned her in a car behind the VFW on East Line Street, Lt. Tony Pyle with the Calhoun Police Department said Wednesday afternoon.

    June 18, 2014

  • Guard shot at FedEx center to undergo 14th surgery

    A security guard critically wounded when a gunman went on a rampage at a FedEx facility is scheduled to undergo his 14th operation Tuesday.

    May 27, 2014

  • Arson ruled out as cause of chemical plant fire

    Police say investigators have been able to rule out arson or foul play as the cause of a massive fire at a chemical plant outside Atlanta that spewed black smoke and flames visible for miles.

    May 27, 2014

  • Teen tied to shopping cart drowns in lake

    Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials say a teen has died after being tied to a shopping cart and pushed into Lake Allatoona.

    May 25, 2014

  • Underground tattoo artists frustrate officials

    The work of tattoo artists whose living rooms double as body art studios might come cheap, but experts say the unsterile -- and illegal -- work environments could leave clients in pain long after the initial sting of the needle subsides.

    May 25, 2014

  • No runoff lets Republicans focus on Rep. Barrow

    While Georgia Republicans have to wait until July to settle runoff races for the U.S. Senate and three open House seats, one of the biggest GOP victories in the primary elections last week went to Augusta businessman Rick W. Allen.

    May 25, 2014

  • Audit probes juvenile justice turnover rate

    A state audit cites low pay, long hours and management concerns as reasons for a relatively high turnover rate at the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

    May 25, 2014

  • Atlanta schools ex-tech director to be sentenced

    After his relationship with the superintendent of Atlanta’s school system soured, a former technology director for the district set up a kickback scheme to pad his pockets before he left his job, according to court documents.

    May 24, 2014

  • Georgia veteran, 92, honored at surprise ceremony

    Family and friends surprised a 92-year-old World War II veteran from Georgia on Memorial Day by honoring him and presenting him with the World War II Victory Medal.

    May 24, 2014

  • Police: Massive chemical plant fire extinguished

    Authorities say a massive fire at a chemical plant outside Atlanta that spewed black smoke and flames visible for miles has been extinguished.

    May 24, 2014