MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. -- A man has been arrested on suspicion of manufacturing and trafficking stolen IDs.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office began a six-month investigation into 36-year-old Gustavo Carranza-Villa, who reportedly has several aliases, after receiving a tip that he was selling fraudulent IDs to businesses to help illegal immigrants obtain jobs.
During the investigation, undercover detectives were sold fake United States government permanent resident alien ID cards and Social Security cards, all allegedly manufactured by Carranza-Villa.
He reportedly went into hiding during the investigation but was tracked down to a Glendale apartment.
Search warrants of the apartment reportedly revealed a printer, card stock, printer ribbons, and fraudulent IDs ready for delivery.
"What is occurring today are massive amounts of identification and financial information being manufactured and used to obtain work in businesses utilizing this false identification," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a statement. "My office has investigated 79 businesses resulting in the arrest of over 560 suspects utilizing false identifications to obtain jobs. These suspects all came into this country illegally."
Whether the ID cards were fabricated or made using stolen identities from actual citizens is under investigation, as well as the number of IDs allegedly manufactured and sold.
Some of the IDs believed to be made by Carranza-Villa in Maricopa County were recovered in Bathe, N.Y. during a human smuggling investigation by New York authorities.
The sherff's office also discovered that Carranza-Villa had previously been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for allegedly producing U.S. government documents. He was deported back to Mexico in 2006.
"Evidently, he found a way back and I guess he didn't learn his lesson. He was doing the same thing," Arpaio said.