LAYTON -- A fake ID mill working out of a Layton studio apartment has been shut down, and its operator arrested on Wednesday, by the Utah Attorney General's Office SECURE Strike Force after a three-week investigation.
Victor Zarco-Hernandez, 22, of Layton, was arrested in Salt Lake City and booked in the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of violating two third-degree felony counts of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person; five third-degree felony counts of forgery; five third-degree felony counts of possession of a forged writing and one second-degree felony count of a pattern of unlawful activity or racketeering, officials said.
Items found and seized by SECURE agents at the Layton studio apartment at 2955 N. 400 West included two small caliber handguns, 25 completed fake identifications; and 75 fake identifications in various stages of production, said Craig Gibson, a special agent with the Utah Attorney General's Office.
The fake identifications ranged from Utah driver's licenses, to Social Security cards, to professional business licenses, Gibson said.
"This is the first time we have ever seen fake documents needed for professional employment," SECURE Strike Force Commander Rhett McQuiston said in a press release issued through the Attorney General's Office on Thursday.
"We found incredibly realistic-looking identification documents," McQuiston said. "We have also never seen anyone creating false identifications cards from so many states and federal government agencies."
In addition, printers, cutters and computers were seized from the apartment, he said.
Zarco-Hernandez was arrested in downtown Salt Lake City on Wednesday after SECURE agents found him going around and meeting people to produce fake identifications for, Gibson said.
Upon the arrest, Gibson said, SECURE agents, with assistance from the ICE Enforcement & Removal Operations Division and detectives from the Layton Police Department, then served a search warrant on the studio apartment where Zarco-Hernandez lived and where the fake identifications were being produced.
Layton Police Lt. James Petre said their department did assist on the search of the apartment.
"We were involved, but it is very much a AG's case," he said.
SECURE is a task force that goes after illegal undocumented individuals who are committing crimes, Gibson said.
He said a lot of the people the task force goes after are those preying on other illegally undocumented individuals.
Zarco-Hernandez has been apprehended four different times attempting to illegally enter the United States, Gibson said.
It is uncertain how long Zaroc-Hernandez has had his Layton mill in production.
The task force also arrested two more individuals in Provo on Wednesday, that they suspect are associated with the case, he said.