ATHENS, Ga. -- The last of the 21 students indicted as part of an alleged ATHENS, Ga. -- The last of the 21 students indicted as part of an alleged fake ID manufacturing and distribution ring surrendered this week to authorities. manufacturing and distribution ring surrendered this week to authorities.
Katarina Lynn Schatz, 20, was booked into the Clarke County Jail Wednesday.
The University of Georgia student was indicted July 30 on six felony counts, three each of distribution of false identification documents and distribution of false identification documents containing an unauthorized government seal.
The 21 indictments culminated an investigation by UGA police that began in 2011.
Nearly all of the indicted students are accused of participating in a ring headed by UGA student William Finley Trosclair, 22, and Tyler Andrew Ruby, also 22, who authorities said was Trosclair’s roommate when the probe began three years ago.
They are the alleged manufacturers of hundreds of phony driver’s licenses that authorities say were sold to underage students at UGA and other colleges in Georgia and other states.
Trosclair was charged in the indictment with eight counts each of manufacturing and distribution of false identification documents, and manufacturing and distribution of false identification documents containing unauthorized government seals.
Ruby was charged with nine counts of both crimes, according to the indictment.
The 19 other students, who authorities say played various roles in the alleged ring, were charged with various counts of distributing the fraudulent documents. All offenses charged by the grand jury are felonies.
Authorities said the operation provided door-to-door service for underage students wanting IDs to get them into bars. Couriers took photos of customers in their own dorm rooms, collected personal information for the IDs and delivered the finished product at prices that ranged from $50 to $100.
Even before he has been formerly arraigned, Ruby’s attorney filed a motion in which he claimed that prosecutors wrongly drafted the indictment that grand jurors voted on.
Athens attorney Matt Karzen cited in the motion a code section in Georgia state law noting that a person under the age of 21 who manufactures a fake ID “for the purpose of the identification being used to obtain entry into an age restricted establishment” or purchase consumable goods “shall, upon a first conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor ... .”
Ruby, as well as his alleged fellow ringleader, Trosclair, were both 19 when authorities say they manufactured fake driver’s licenses at their home in eastern Athens.
Trosclair’s attorney has not filed such a motion, and in the request on Ruby’s behalf filed Aug. 20, Karzen asked Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens to rule on the motion to reduce charges to misdemeanors within 10 days of his client’s arraignment, scheduled for Sept. 13.