NASHVILLE — A Tennessee woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to paying approximately $30,000 in bribes to a former Tennessee Department of Public Safety supervisory license examiner in exchange for fraudulent licenses and permits. The guilty plea follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the FBI and Tennessee Department of Safety.
Anny Castillo, 29, of Antioch, Tenn., a citizen of the Dominican Republic and lawful U.S. resident, pleaded guilty to bribery, conspiracy to unlawfully produce state identification documents, and to selling Social Security cards and citizenship documents.
"Fraudulent documents threaten the security of all citizens by making it easier for criminals to commit a range of offenses from identity theft to terrorism," said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans, who oversees a five state area of responsibility including Tennessee. "This guilty plea should serve as a reminder that HSI and its law enforcement partners continually work together to identify and prosecute criminals who violate the public trust."
According to court documents, Castillo illegally obtained and sold genuine identification and citizenship documents to illegal aliens between August 2011 and April 2012. Undercover federal agents posing as illegal aliens subsequently learned from Castillo that she could also obtain fraudulent state licenses and permits for an additional fee.
Undercover federal agents accompanied Castillo to a driver testing center in Nashville where Larry Murphy, 54, of Antioch, Tenn., worked as a supervisory driver's license examiner. There Castillo paid Murphy more than $15,000 to issue fraudulent licenses to the undercover agents. Castillo admitted in court she and Murphy engaged in approximately 50 total transactions involving at least $30,000 in illegal payments.
Castillo and Murphy were both indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2012. Murphy pleaded guilty Nov. 6 and both are scheduled to be sentenced in February. Castillo and Murphy each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.