United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Document and Benefit Fraud
02/24/2011

22 alleged members of sophisticated, violent fraudulent document ring indicted

Map showing cities and states in which the fraudulent document trafficking ring was active
Map showing cities and states in which the fraudulent document trafficking ring was active
RICHMOND, Va. - A federal grand jury in Richmond has indicted 22 members of an allegedly highly sophisticated and violent fraudulent document trafficking organization based in Mexico with cells in 19 cities and 11 states, including three cells in Virginia. Discovered through an ongoing investigation dubbed "Operation Phalanx," the organization is accused of kidnapping, beating and - at least on one occasion - murdering competitors and using violence to discipline its own members. The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).