- The Washington Times - Friday, June 24, 2005

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have arrested more than two dozen illegal aliens in Maryland, Illinois and Missouri who possessed valid state driver’s licenses to transport hazardous materials, state commercial licenses to drive trucks or state driver’s licenses.

ICE spokesman Dean Boyd said yesterday the arrests over the past week follow previous agency enforcement actions in Maryland, Florida and Michigan, during which more than 100 persons were detained in connection with fraud schemes that enabled illegal aliens to obtain valid hazardous materials licenses, commercial driver’s licenses or driver’s licenses through state department of motor vehicles offices.

In one Maryland case this week, a federal grand jury in Baltimore returned a criminal indictment against Mansoor Hassan, an illegal alien from Pakistan and a driver of gasoline tanker trucks for Exxon, Mr. Boyd said. He was charged with six counts of making false statements about his citizenship to gain employment with different gas companies.

An immigration judge ordered Mr. Hassan deported in 1996, but allowed him to leave the country voluntarily. Mr. Boyd said Mr. Hassan never left the country and soon obtained a commercial driver’s license in Maryland to drive gasoline tanker trucks. Mr. Boyd said ICE agents recently learned that Mr. Hassan was working as a tanker truck driver for Exxon in Baltimore.

The arrests are part of an ongoing operation by ICE, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, the Transportation Department and law-enforcement officers in several states.

“This cooperative law-enforcement effort has closed a security vulnerability that might have resulted in dire consequences,” said ICE Agent Elissa Brown, who heads the Chicago field office.

In Illinois, Mr. Boyd said, ICE agents arrested six illegal aliens over the past week who had valid Illinois commercial driver’s licenses and hazardous materials endorsements. All six are being held pending deportation.

He said a seventh man also was arrested and is being charged by Illinois authorities for falsely applying for and obtaining a driver’s license. The man also faces deportation at the completion of the state case.

In Missouri, Mr. Boyd said, ICE agents and other law-enforcement officers arrested 19 illegal aliens who had fraudulently applied for driver’s licenses with birth certificates from U.S. citizens.

Those arrests came on the heels of previous ICE enforcement actions in Maryland, Florida and Michigan that uncovered fraud schemes enabling illegal aliens to obtain valid hazardous materials licenses, commercial driver’s licenses or driver’s licenses, he said.

Three Maryland residents were arrested during the previous sweep in a scheme to fraudulently obtain Maryland identification cards. Arrested were Hyattsville resident Dodson Robey, 34, and Silver Spring residents Margentina Esther Pinilla, 41, and Valentin Roosevelt Milstein, 59.

A criminal complaint said the three conspired to transfer fraudulent identification documents to more than 100 illegal aliens.

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