THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT


WEEK IN REVIEW

by by Chris Duffy

illustration by by Drew Foster

GET YOUR FAKE AT THE DMV
There are a lot of reasons someone might get a fake I.D. Maybe it's an 18 year-old trying to buy liquor. Maybe it's a 16 year-old looking to buy porn. Or maybe, as José Bueno, a legal US resident, testified in Providence's federal court last Friday, when you're not able to pass the written test at the DMV, you're willing to shell out $2,300 for a fake Rhode Island driver's license.

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Soraya Santiago and Delores Rodriguez-LaFlamme are accused of abusing their positions working at the Pawtucket DMV to provide false identification to dozens of willing customers like Bueno. Santiago is currently testifying against LaFlamme as part of a plea bargain. The two women were arrested earlier this year after an investigation by State Police led to them as the source for a number of fake I.D.s being held by criminals and illegal immigrants.
The I.D.s were sold through middlemen who recruited the buyers and took a cut of the profits, charging up to $3000 a license. Santiago has testified that she never received any payment for her work and that LaFlamme was the brains behind the operation. Santiago's lawyers contend that LaFlamme intimidated Santiago with her ties to the Latino community and public figures like Mayor Cicilline. The trial is ongoing and LaFlamme is facing numerous counts of identity theft and conspiracy.