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Public Information Office (609) 882-2000
Lt Kevin Rehmann Ext. 6515

February 14, 2005

State Police Arrest MVC Worker For Selling Driver's Licenses

Trenton, N.J. - State Police detectives assigned to the Auto Unit Document Fraud Squad have arrested eight subjects, including a Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) employee, after an undercover investigation into driver's license brokering at the Trenton MVC office.

The investigation began after information was developed indicating that MVC employee Darnell Brickers, age 35 of Trenton, would provide a driver's license for a fee without producing the required identification documents. A State Police detective, acting in an undercover capacity, made arrangements with Jose Conde-Hernandez, age 37 of Princeton, and Daniel Munoz, age 34 of Trenton, to purchase a driver's license for $2500.00. Conde-Hernandez and Munoz directed the detective to Brickers, who provided the license with no proof of identification as required by law.

The investigation continued with the assistance of the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office and MVC investigators, and Jose Chacon, age 32 of North Plainfield was identified as another broker in the scheme. Detectives met with Chacon near SH 29 and Cass Street in Trenton, and he was arrested in possession of $13,500 in proceeds from the sale of fraudulent licenses. Arrested with Chacon were Leobardo Maldonado, age 36 of New Brunswick, Freire Huilman, age 40 of North Plainfield, and Claudia Pelaez, age 42 of Bound Brook, who were identified as customers of the ring and in possession of fraudulent driver's licenses linked to Brickers.

Brickers was charged with Official Corruption, Forgery, Tampering with Public Records, and Conspiracy. He was lodged in the Mercer County Correctional Facility in default of $600,000 bail. Chacon ($400,000), Hernandez (75,000), and Munoz ($50,000) were charged with conspiracy and lodged in the Mercer County Correctional Facility in default of bail. Steve A. Gonzalez, age 24 of Hamilton, was later charged with conspiracy and was taken into custody after he appeared at the State Police Hamilton Station accompanied by his attorney. He was also lodged in Mercer County Correctional in default of $600,000 bail.

The investigation continues in an effort to determine if there are any additional documents produced and sold by Brickers or any other MVC employees.

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