15 accused in Saratoga of buying fake driver’s licenses

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15 accused in Saratoga of buying fake driver’s licenses

City police and the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday announced the arrests, which were the culmination of an investigation that started when an 18 year old was caught allegedly trying to buy alcohol in a wine and liquor store in the city using one of the out of state IDs.Bradley Green wanted to buy booze March 9 to take to Utica that weekend for the Saratoga Springs High School hockey team playoffs, police said. They have not identified the store where he allegedly tried to buy the beverages.He presented his phony card to the liquor store, where a scan showed it was valid, police said.The cashier was ready to make the sale when a woman in the store recognized Green and told employees he was a high schooler, according to police.Workers then refused to sell to Green, kept his ID and called police, who tracked down the teen as well as more than a dozen others who allegedly ordered fake IDs in two waves last year.Each teen was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of possession of a forged instrument, a charge that could lead to a maximum sentence of a year in jail. Their driving privileges were suspended for 90 days.One teen’s father, Stephen Smero, 48, of Locust Grove Road in Greenfield, was accused of securing the Western Union money order Aug. 29 to transmit funds for the second wave of fake licenses. He was charged with felony second degree possession of a forged instrument, misdemeanor first degree unlawfully dealing with a child and misdemeanor conspiracy.For the felony charge, he could get up to seven years in state prison, said Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III.”Certainly it could be much lower than that; those are all ranges,” he said.In addition to the 11 current high school students, two high school graduates and a Skidmore College student were arrested, buy fake ids police said.The teens are:Sontz, 17, of Clinton Street, Saratoga Springs.Biehn, 17, of Lexington Parkway, Niskayuna.Green, 18, of Friar Tuck Way, Saratoga Springs.Ricciardi, 17, of Rolling Brook Drive, Saratoga Springs.Sampson, 18, of Acland Boulevard, Milton.Friedman, 17, of Whistler Court, Saratoga Springs.Machado, 18, of Liz Ann Drive, Saratoga Springs.Smero, 17, of Locust Grove Road, Saratoga Springs. fake id Higgins, 17, of Oak Brook Boulevard, Saratoga Springs.Poppel, 17, of Regatta View Drive, Saratoga Springs.Witt, 18, of Whistler Court, Saratoga Springs.Heidorn, 18, of Nicklaus Drive, Saratoga Springs.Bielkiewicz, 18, of Brookside Drive, Saratoga Springs.Benhaim, 19, of Bradford Circle, Marlborough, Mass., a Skidmore student.The IDs ordered from the China based company ID Chief look exactly like the licenses they are made to imitate and even have the barcode information encoded in a magnetic strip on the back, Murphy said.In other words, they’re not the fake IDs the teenagers’ parents might have flashed as youths.”This is not chalking your license or changing a one to a seven,” Murphy said. fake id “These are extraordinarily high tech.”

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