NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 45-year-old man on Friday after they served search warrants at two homes and allegedly found instruments used to forge identity cards and numerous fraudulent ID cards.
"Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges stated that an ongoing investigation into fraudulent identification cards led investigators to identify the main target of the investigation. The sheriff's office had received complaints about fraudulent identification cards being made and had recovered some of them over the last several months."
Andres Marrero, of Nacogdoches, is still being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail on a first-degree felony charge of fraudulent use or possession of identifying information. His bail has been set at $50,000.
In addition, authorities determined that Marrero is in the United States illegally, and a press release from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office stated that the Department of Homeland Security has placed a hold on him.
The press release stated that NCSO investigators were able to identify a low-level target in the operation. After an undercover deputy was able to purchase the cards about a week ago, the sheriff's office set up surveillance to figure out who was making the forged ID cards.
Three NCSO deputies and an investigator served search warrants on residences on County Road 522 and County Road 824, the press release stated. The deputies allegedly computers, printers, hard drives, printing emblems, fake ID cards, and other devices that were being used to manufacture and print several different types of fraudulent identification cards.
"Investigators found that fake Social Security cards, residential alien cards, Mexico identification cards Texas ID cards and Texas driver licenses were being manufactured at the residence on CR 522," the press release stated. "The residence on CR 522 was a trailer house, which was set up into an office. The residence sole purpose was being used for criminal activity to produce these fraudulent identification cards."
In addition, Marrero told the deputies that he was involved an operation that manufactured fraudulent ID cards, the affidavit stated. He allegedly said he had been making the fake ID cards for approximately eight months and had made at least 200 of them.
Bridges said that Homeland Security will be assisting in the investigation by going through all the data on the electronic devices that have been seized as evidence. More arrests are pending after the investigation is completed, the press release stated.
"The sheriff office has already identified other suspects in this case," Bridges said in the press release. "We need to see what level of involvement these other people had. Right now, we got the main suspect, and this operation has been shut down."