State Police arrest four on
charges of trafficking phony documents
(Woodbridge) – State Police detectives assigned to the Division of Motor Vehicles’ Document Fraud Squad arrested and charged four men with allegedly running a brokering ring that had sold counterfeit documents used to secure New Jersey driver’s licenses.
State Police arrested four men Thursday, Feb. 13, whom they believe were soliciting individuals seeking to establish fictitious identities. The suspects allegedly sold fraudulent documents to the individuals who would then take the counterfeit documents to a DMV agency and apply for New Jersey driver’s licenses.
The arrests were the culmination of a four-month State Police investigation. After the suspects were identified, State Police placed them under surveillance.
“We will continue to work with the State Police, to ensure that Governor McGreevey’s reform of the Division of Motor Vehicles is carried out swiftly and efficiently,” said Acting Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “And we won’t stop, until the status quo at DMV means secure, tamper-proof documents and good customer service.”
Three suspects were arrested at the Hilton Hotel in Woodbridge Township. They are: James G. Chamberlin, 65, of Elizabeth; Robert J. Guterl, 25, of Rahway; Joseph C. Cere, 38, of Elizabeth. The fourth suspect, 47-year-old Charles J. Rears of Roselle, was later arrested in Lakewood.
State Police confiscated numerous counterfeit documents, New Jersey Examination Permits, two vehicles (a 1989 Ford Escort and a 1996 Hyundai Excel), $1,037 in cash and an undisclosed amount of heroin. State Police also believe the suspects established multiple identities with the documents.
Chamberlin, Guterl and Cere were charged with forgery and conspiracy. Chamberlin was also charged with possession of drugs and possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
Rears was charged with forgery, possession of false government documents and possession of drugs.
Chamberlin and Guterl were lodged in the Middlesex County Jail in default of $125,000 bail. Cere was released on his on recognizance pending his court date in Middlesex County. Rears was lodged in Ocean County Jail in default of $25,000 bail.
“We knew that the crimes of document fraud and identity theft were not relegated to the big cities of North Jersey,” said DMV Director Diane Legreide. “We will remain focused and committed to fighting these crimes whether they occur at the larger agencies in the state’s biggest cities or the smaller ones in the most remote areas.”