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BATON ROUGE — Following an eight-week investigation into the manufacturing of fraudulent Texas driver’s licenses, arrest warrants have been obtained for six persons on forgery charges. The warrants follow an extensive investigation into the October 10, 2003 death of Corey James Domingue, 19, Baton Rouge who died from acute alcohol toxicity. Domingue’s blood alcohol level was determined to be 0.43%, well above the level considered lethal.
The arrest warrants issued are for Jeffrey David Lee 18, 4500 Burbank, Apt. #13103, Baton Rouge; Andrew Trujillo, 17, 4721 Academy Dr., Metairie; Brian Pontier 19, 550 Lee Dr., Apt. #244, Baton Rouge; Bradley C. King, 20, 4066 Burbank, Apt. #8, Baton Rouge; Jonathan Courtney, 19, 3614 Brandon Lynn, Baton Rouge; and Michael Keith Nolan, 19, Andrew Jackson Hall, Room 410, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Jeffery David Lee has also been charged with obstruction of justice regarding an attempt to destroy evidence directly related to the investigation.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) headed the investigation, assisted by the Baton Rouge City-Parish Alcohol Beverage Control, investigators from the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, Louisiana State University Police, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Baton Rouge City Police, the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office, and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office.
Law enforcement officials began investigating the circumstances surrounding Domingue’s death after determining it was alcohol related. Based on information provided by detectives from the Baton Rouge City Police, it was determined that the alcohol consumed by Domingue just prior to his death was purchased from an LSU area supermarket in Baton Rouge. The grocery cooperated with agents during the investigation and ATC agents and the Baton Rouge City-Parish Alcohol Beverage Control were able to secure video surveillance tapes of the purchase. A fraudulent Texas driver’s license used to purchase the alcohol was also recovered.
Information gathered during the investigation, along with witness statements, led officials to secure search warrants for locations in Baton Rouge and Metairie. Numerous pieces of equipment used in the production of fraudulent identification were seized, including computers, programs, printers, laminates, and laminating equipment. A number of fraudulent Texas and Iowa driver’s licenses were also seized.
Law enforcement personnel have found that hundreds of fraudulent drivers licenses have been produced and sold by the group of suspects. Most of the fraudulent identification cards produced by the suspects are counterfeit Texas driver’s licenses. Photographs and information for the licenses were regularly e-mailed between the suspects. Agents found the photograph and information used to produce the fraudulent Texas driver’s license for Corey James Domingue within the seized computer records.
The fraudulent driver’s licenses were manufactured with a high degree of quality that retailers would not suspect as fraudulent. The IDs purported the user’s age to be over 21, which will allow the purchase of alcoholic beverages. In addition, fraudulent IDs were manufactured for minors purporting their age to be 18, which will allow them access to bars and lounges. The counterfeit licenses were sold throughout the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas. College-age persons were usually charged about $80.00 for a fraudulent ID, and high-school-age persons were charged $200 to $250 each.
Law enforcement officials are continuing to interview persons who have purchased the IDs. Officials have a list of the fraudulent drivers licenses that were manufactured and all purchasers of the licenses will be contacted in the near future. Officials say persons who voluntarily surrender their fraudulent ID will receive consideration from the District Attorney’s office.
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