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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Valleywide

11 Arrested During DMV Fraud Sweep

February 01, 2001|ROBERTO J. MANZANO

State investigators detained 11 people during a three-day crackdown on identity fraud at Department of Motor Vehicles offices throughout the San Fernando Valley, authorities said Wednesday.

The arrests and citations occurred at DMV offices in Arleta, Van Nuys and Winnetka, said DMV spokesman Bill Branch. The sweep, which ended Wednesday, was designed to turn up counterfeit documents submitted to the DMV for vehicle registrations and driver's licenses.

Nine people were released after being cited on misdemeanor charges and two people were arrested, Branch said.

Jose Luis Lujan was allegedly trying to sell answers to the state's written driving test in the parking lot of the Winnetka office, Branch said. He ran from investigators but was captured at an apartment complex two blocks away, Branch said.

Mario Jesus Rodriguez was arrested at the Van Nuys office for allegedly attempting to use a counterfeit Social Security card when applying for a driver's license. The ages and residences of Lujan and Rodriguez were not available.

Gov. Gray Davis has budgeted $13 million to help the DMV fight fraud with sweeps at DMV offices throughout the state.

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