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Ex-DMV clerk, others sentenced in license scheme

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A former employee of the Martinsburg office of the Division of Motor Vehicles and two other men were sentenced Tuesday in federal court for their role in a scheme to produce and sell forged West Virginia driver’s licenses.

Kermit Miller, 61, of Martinsburg, was sentenced to three years of probation in Martinsburg’s U.S. District Court by District Court Judge Gina M. Groh. He pleaded guilty in February to one count of a federal indictment charging him with conspiracy to defraud in connection with identification documents.

A second person involved in the scheme, Jesse Antonio Garcia, 28, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to one year and three months in prison. He pleaded guilty in July to one count of aiding and abetting the unlawful production of an identification document. A third co-defendant, Marcos Hernandez Hernandez, 40, of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced to eight months in prison. He previously entered a plea of guilty in August to one count of aiding and abetting the unlawful production of an identification document.

Miller was indicted in September 2013 by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy to defraud and 18 counts of unlawful production of an identification document. Miller was accused of fraudulently producing and distributing 18 West Virginia driver’s licenses between Feb. 22, 2010, and Aug. 14, 2010, while employed at the Martinsburg DMV office. As part of the scheme, Miller didn’t require that the recipients of the licenses complete the required applications or testing, and Miller received cash in exchange for the licenses that he provided.

According to court documents, the primary purpose of the conspiracy was to profit economically from the production and distribution of driver’s licenses. As part of the conspiracy, recipients of the identification documents made monetary payments to Garcia, aka “Galto,” and another individual in return for arranging the issuance of the identification documents by Miller. The payments were then shared with Miller.

Garcia and another individual accompanied the recipients of the fake driver’s licenses to the DMV office in Martinsburg and signaled Miller to unlawfully issue the licenses.

Garcia himself was issued a driver’s license by Miller. Also, on March 11, 2010, Hernandez, aka “Jose Ramos Rivas,” met with Garcia. During the meeting, Hernandez paid an unknown amount of cash to arrange the unlawful issuance of a driver’s license from Miller. Following the meeting, Garcia accompanied Hernandez inside the DMV office and sat down next to him as a signal to Miller that Hernandez was to be issued a license, records show.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod Douglas. It was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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