After a tip from the United States Customs and Border Protection regarding counterfeit driver's license holograms, Colonie Police arrested Christian Vargas on forgery charges on Oct. 7.
Vargas, 19, was delivered a package to his home, located at 109 Sand Creek Road in Albany, from China by a Colonie Police Investigator, dressed up as courier, that contained counterfeit driver's license holograms used to make Pennsylvania and Florida driver's licenses, according to a press release.
Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn said police are currently trying to decipher the name of the company from which the package was sent from but said they haven't yet because it is in Chinese.
Winn said the officers from both Colonie Police and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles executed a search warrant after Vargas accepted the package and found in his residence a lab where he creates the fake driver's licenses. Police believe the intent of the falsified documents were for minors to purchase alcohol.
Police are currently reviewing evidence taken from Vargas' residence and are forensically examining computers for information on who some of his customers are.
We're trying to track down the licenses of any of the people who have received them, said Winn, adding that they have recovered some licenses that were being prepared to be sent out to customers. "We have retrieved some of the licenses and are looking on his computer to see if there are more. He had five documents ready to go and one of them was his."
He continued to say that if Police do track down recipients of the forged licenses and they are found to be in possession of them, those persons could face felony charges of possession of a forged instrument.
"Trying to buy one is not illegal but being in possession of one is," Winn said of the fake licenses. "We are aware he [Vargas] has been doing this for a couple of months so there could be a lot of ID's out there."
Winn said Vargas was selling the licenses at around $100 each. He added that now Vargas' arrest has been made public, those in possession might be getting rid of the licenses.
"I feel that now Mr. Vargas' face is all over the news, you'll probably see a lot of shredded ID's," said Winn.