Originally created 03/02/05

Two face forgery charges



Two Grovetown men have been indicted on racketeering and forgery charges after police say they created and sold forged identification and immigration documents, according to a recently released indictment.

The Grovetown Department of Public Safety arrested Omar Garduno, 32, and Eniciano Garcia-Solis, 22, both of the 700 block of Cottonwood Court. The two were indicted by a Columbia County grand jury on a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and conspiracy to commit forgery. Mr. Garduno also faces two charges of forgery in the first degree, according to the indictment.

The indictment accuses the men of developing and executing a money-making scheme in which they produced counterfeit immigrant and nonimmigrant permits, alien registration cards, permanent resident alien cards, Social Security cards and international driver's licenses.

According to the indictment released Thursday, Mr. Garduno was a supervisor at a Richmond County business that employed some people to whom he had supplied false identification. The indictment also says he encouraged supervisors of other businesses to hire illegal aliens to whom he and Mr. Garcia-Solis provided fake identification.

The men were arrested Dec. 15 at their home after they tried to sell an alien card and a Social Security card to an undercover Grovetown investigator, Grovetown Department of Public Safety Capt. Gary Owens said.

"There was just a slew of documents," he said. "You could tell there was manufacturing in the home."

Capt. Owens said his department was assisted in the three-month investigation by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said the case is not believed to be related to terrorism. His department is still investigating other leads stemming from the men's arrests.

Columbia County Bureau Chief Preston Sparks contributed to this report.

Reach Valerie Rowell at 868-1222, ext. 110, or valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.