Thursday, January 03, 2019

By Gus Bode

A 19-year-old SIUC student who was arrested for making fake driver’s licenses in Boomer I started scanning the ID’s about a month ago on his computer, Secretary of State police said.

University police discovered the driver’s licenses were being made when they arrested another SIUC woman who lives in Boomer I.

A University police officer was making a traffic stop early Friday morning in Carbondale when he heard a loud crash. The officer drove to the 100 block of East College Street toward the sound of the crash.

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Michelle P. Baker, an 18-year-old Palatine woman was involved in the crash. She showed the officer her SIUC identification and driver’s license. But when the officer noticed another form of identification in her possession, police said, the officer questioned her about it.

The identification did not have her name on it and appeared to be fraudulently manufactured, police said.

“I would say that’s some pretty astute work on the part of the SIU officer,” SIU Police Lt. Todd Sigler said of the officer’s observation.

Baker was charged with possession of false identification and taken to the Jackson County Jail.

Meantime, SIU police notified the Secretary of State police.

Authorities said Baker got her identification from Phillip M. Moats, a 19-year-old SIUC student from Peoria. Moats and Baker live two floors apart in the residence hall.

Secretary of State police Friday went to Moats room where he allegedly made about six fake IDs, based on Illinois new digital design. He sold one of them for $30, two for $20 and gave some away.

Moats allegedly sold one of those ID’s to 18-year-old Mundeline man, Crosiar Lafollette, who was subsequently charged with possession of a fraudulent identification.

Though Moats only just began making the fake driver’s licenses with his computer, the production of “one or 100 is a serious offense” to the Secretary of State, said Randy Nehrt, a state spokesman.

When police searched Moats’ room in Boomer I, they confiscated a computer, printer, scanner and false driver’s licenses along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Justin Rutland, a 19-year-old Schaumburg man, was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in connection with the marijuana and paraphernalia in Moats’ room, police said. Rutland lives a floor above Moats.

Secretary of State police said they have leads on the other remaining fake IDs Moats allegedly made.

Moats faces up to three years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine.

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