Identities Stolen - Dozens Arrested

News Channel 9
May 28, 2009 - 4:48 PM
By Karen Zatkulak

Dozens are behind bars in Gordon County charged with stealing others identities. It's a felony crime that Calhoun Police say is part of a larger operation, and they've now busted a big group involved.

In 2 nights, Calhoun Police say they have arrested 24 people, and are still looking for about 6 more. They say the illegal immigrants were all using false documents and false identities, a crime they say has more consequences and victims than you may realize.

In Calhoun, Georgia, Police Lt. Tony Pyle says, "They were able to pick up about 24 people that they were looking for."

Pyle tells us they're all charged with identity theft and possession of fraudulent documents. They say they had all purchased a name, social security number, and birth certificate illegally to work here in the U.S. "They knew it was wrong they knew it was not a legitimate way to go about it, but I think in a way they feel they were taken advantage of."

Calhoun Police Lt. Tony Pyle explains that identity packages can simply be bought for a few hundred dollars, and they're the ticket to a job and life here for illegal immigrants.

Pyle says the suspects lived across Calhoun and worked at different businesses, restaurants, and plants, but he says they all got their fake IDs from the same person. "There may be certain individuals that are selling these documents or this information and it travels by word of mouth, people that are here illegally will obtain it."

Obtain it, and use it for things like utilities, and filing for taxes with employers, transactions that end up costing others. Pyle says, "The IRS will send the real person, real name a tax form saying you owe thousands of dollars."

Pyle says that means there are more victims, the people who legally gained citizenship, but had there identity stolen and shared. "It's not just that they're using it and not hurting anyone, they have basically taken over your identity with a negative impact."

Those charges are felony crimes. Pyle says if the suspects are convicted, they will most likely be deported. ... tolen.html