At least 32 people have now been arrested in connection to a Kansas DMV investigation that authorities have dubbed “Operation Chameleon.”
The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office and Kansas Department of Revenue are investigating a bribery scheme at a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Mission, Kansas, that reportedly went on for years. According to investigators, 28-year-old DMV employee Samantha Moore took bribes of up to $2,500 to make fake IDs for illegal aliens using made-up Social Security numbers.
Via KSHB 41:
A joint press conference with the Department of Revenue and Johnson County DA’s office Thursday revealed a DMV employee has been receiving bribes to issue fake driver’s licenses using made up social security numbers.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said, “That’s one thing that we want to make sure the public understands so they’re not concerned about is these individuals were not using real people’s identities. So they weren’t stealing the identities of other individuals.”
Moore is facing 51 felony counts including bribery, computer crime, official misconduct, felony use of a driver’s license, identity theft and fraudulent tax return between 2011 and 2013.
Right now, she’s in the Johnson County Jail on $250,000 bond.
Three of the suspects — aka the “fixers” — have been charged with multiple counts of bribery, having allegedly “referred applicants” to Moore for fake IDs. The bonds for Shaylynn Celedon, Carolina Mejia, and Luis Contreras were also set at $250,000 but Celedon’s bond has since been reduced to $100,000. Contreras was able to post bond and is out on house arrest.
KSHB reports that the remaining 29 people were the recipients of the fraudulent licenses and have been charged with a single count of bribery, felony use of a driver’s license and making a false claim.
They were released after posting $2,500 bond. Investigators are still searching or two more suspects involved in the case.