A Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration employee conspired with the owner of a driving school and a third person to sell state identification cards, many to illegal immigrants, for as much as $2,000 each, federal authorities alleged yesterday.
Court documents accuse Dodson Robey, who worked in the agency's Beltsville office until his arrest this week, of improperly issuing more than 150 identification cards since July. Robey, 34, of Hyattsville, and Silver Spring residents Margentina Pinilla, 41, and Valentin Milstein, 59, are charged with conspiring to transfer fraudulent identification documents.
Pinilla, who worked at the motor vehicle agency until May, and Robey appeared in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on Thursday. Milstein, the owner of Val's Driving School in Wheaton, appeared yesterday. None has entered a plea, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Allen F. Loucks said.
The investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents began in October with a tip from a confidential informant, according to a law enforcement affidavit. In December, two undocumented immigrants arrested on immigration violations told agents that they had paid Milstein $2,000 each in exchange for receiving identification documents without having to show paperwork such as an valid out-of-country passport, the affidavit says.
In January, agents put a hidden microphone on another man who had been charged with an immigration violation and listened in as Milstein offered him the same service for the same price, it says. Yet another cooperating witness met with Pinilla the next month at her home, where for $1,000, the affidavit says, she provided a birth certificate and directed the witness to Robey's station in the Beltsville office.
Messages left for Milstein and Pinilla yesterday were not immediately returned. A woman who answered at Robey's home hung up.