State and federal authorities spread out across northern New Jersey this week during two days of sweeps that resulted in the arrest of 93 people involved in a counterfeit document ring, according to state police.
The suspects were accused of buying fraudulent documents later used to acquire real New Jersey digital driver’s licenses.
Among those arrested was Young-Kyu Park, the alleged leader of a government document counterfeiting ring, according to state police.
Park is a former resident of Fort Lee who currently lives in Los Angeles and allegedly operated the ring in Palisades Park and Fort Lee, NJToday.net and other media outlets reported.
The federal investigation, in which the New Jersey State Police Auto Unit, United States Homeland Security and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission also participated, led to the identification of 136 suspects who are alleged to have obtained driver’s licenses using the fraudulent documents. Criminal charges, including tampering with public records and falsifying records, were authorized by Bergen County Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Roma, authorities said.
The sweeps took place Wednesday and Thursday around North Jersey, police said.
“The valid New Jersey Driver’s Licenses that were obtained using fraudulent documents could undoubtedly be used to commit crimes and additional acts of fraud,” said Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police Colonel Rick Fuentes in a statement.
Motor Vehicle Commission Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez called the investigation and arrests a reaffirmation of “the value of a driver’s license as a breeder document and the need for the MVC to maintain the security and integrity of its operations.”
Homeland Security Investigations detained three of the people arrested in the sweep, while the rest were released pending court dates. Federal charges were also brought against 21 people, authorities said.
Police are still searching for 43 people in the state to whom they intend to serve county warrants for possession of fraudulent documents in the case, state officials said.
In addition to the and the state and federal agencies, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Bergen County Sheriffs Department, the Bloomfield Police Department, the Clifton Police Department, the Eatontown Police Department and the Palisades Park Police Department were also partners in the sweeps.
Update on June 29:
A federal grand jury in Newark returned an indictment Friday charging 14 defendants arrested Wednesday in connection with their alleged roles in the scheme to “fraudulently obtain driver’s licenses for illegal aliens and other ineligible individuals,” officials said.
The defendants are Young-Kyu Park, Soong-Young Park, Hanna Park, Hyeun-Jin Park, Yang-Gon Kim, Jong-Hyek Park, Ki-Sok Kim, Boo Park, Huong K. Shin, Ho-Man Lee, Samuel H. Park, Jong-Ho Kim, Kae-Won Jho and Young-Bae Gu, according to the indictment.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Moscato and Lisa M. Colone of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs unit in Newark are representing the government in the case, authorities said.