November 29th, 2007 09:10 EST
Indiana man sentenced to 2 years in prison for fake document conspiracy
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - An Indiana man who operated a fake document business that enabled hundreds of illegal aliens to gain employment in the Louisville area was sentenced here Tuesday to two years in prison. This sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Jason Patrick Ross, 33, of 410 Lakeridge Drive, Henryville, Ind., was sentenced Nov. 27 by U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell to two years in prison and two years supervised release for conspiracy to possess and distribute false identification documents.
Ross pleaded guilty July 13 to the charges against him. He admitted that in March 2001, his brother-in-law introduced him to a fraudulent document maker known as "JL," and he began to refer customers directly to him. Initially, Ross received a $20 fee for each referral, which eventually increased to $40 per referral. Ross brought the identity photographs to JL's house in Louisville who produced fraudulent Social Security cards, and driver's licenses from Mexico and Michigan.
In March 2005, JL told Ross that he feared the FBI was following him and he was moving to Mexico. Ross then assumed JL's fraudulent document business. He charged $40 for a Social Security card, and $100 each for a green card, a Mexican driver's license, a Michigan driver's license, or an international driver's license.
Ross stated that he had four or five runners who brought the photographs to his home so he could complete the fraudulent identification documents. Since taking over the business about two years ago, Ross has produced and sold about 1,500 false identifications and work permits, including documents created for restaurants in Louisville and southern Indiana. Through this scam, Ross provided fake identity documents to hundreds of illegal immigrants, enabling them to illegally work in Louisville-area restaurants and other businesses.
"Jason Patrick Ross illegally profited from producing and selling false documents; he undermined the integrity of this nation's legal documents," said Elissa A. Brown, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "Counterfeit documents pose a legitimate national security threat. ICE will aggressively pursue those involved in such criminal activity."
While he was released on bond awaiting trial on these charges, Ross was stopped by a Pennsylvania State Trooper for a traffic violation who discovered numerous digital photographs and fraudulent documents in his vehicle.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Kilmartin, Western District of Kentucky, successfully prosecuted this case.