Leaders of fake ID distribution ring sentenced
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The masterminds of a fake ID manufacturing and distribution ring have been ordered to serve jail time, participate in community service and pay a $5,000 fine.
University of Georgia Student William Trosclair and former Gainesville State University student Tyler Andrew Ruby pleaded guilty in Clarke County Superior Court last week to manufacturing false identification documents and manufacturing and distributing documents containing unauthorized government seals.
The two used couriers to take customers’ photos in dorm rooms, collected personal information for the IDs and delivered the products for between $50 and $100 each, investigators have said. The investigation started in August 2011 after a University of Georgia student told her dormitory’s resident assistant that her roommate was delivering the fake IDs.
The IDs were so well designed that they included holograms and watermarks and didn’t arouse the suspicion of bouncers and liquor store workers, University of Georgia Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said.
The Athens Banner-Herald reported Monday that the two must serve between 60 and 120 days in detention, five years of probation and serve 100 hours of community service. Both men were sentenced as first offenders, meaning their convictions will be wiped from their records if they successfully complete probation.
“We believe it’s a fair resolution of this case because the two principals will serve a period of confinement and pay a large fine,” said Assistant District Attorney David Lock. “The other people who got caught up in it by distributing the IDs are also paying a price for their involvement.”
Twenty-one people, including students from Northwestern University, the University of Alabama and the University of Mississippi, were also indicted in the case.
Some of their defense attorneys have said their clients delivered the IDs as favors for friends and weren’t involved in an organized distribution ring.
The newspaper reports those students have been entered into a Western Judicial Circuit pretrial diversion program. They’re ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, complete 100 hours of community service and serve two years of probation.
Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com