Georgia Student Receives Jail Term and Probation for Fake ID Distribution RacketBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
William Finely Trosclair, a 22-year-old University of Georgia (UGA) student, and former Gainesville State University student Tyler Andrew Ruby, have been sentenced to jail and asked to participate in community service and pay a $5,000 fine following a fake ID manufacturing and distribution operation.
Both the offenders pleaded guilty in Clarke County Superior Court to multiple felony charges last week to manufacturing and distributing false identification documents and manufacturing and distributing documents containing unauthorized government seals.
As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed the felony forgery charges against Trosclair and Ruby.
Clarke County Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens ordered each of the offenders to serve 60-120 days in a state detention centre, five years of probation, pay a $5,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service. The sentenced has been awarded under the First Offenders Act, meaning their convictions will be erased from their records if they successfully complete probation.
"We believe it's a fair resolution of this case because the two principals will serve a period of confinement and pay a large fine," Assistant District Attorney David Lock told Online Eathens. "The other people who got caught up in it by distributing the IDs are also paying a price for their involvement."
According to the authorities, the operation provided door-to-door service for underage students wanting IDs to get access into bars. Interested students' photo and personal information required for the ID's was taken by couriers.
The operation led by Trosclair and Ruby charged students anywhere between 50 to $100 for the fake ID's that were manufactured at home that they shared in east Athens.
An UGA student exposed this operation in August 2011 after she was pressurized by roommates to get a fake driver's license. In one instance, she accompanied the roommate to deliver the IDs to other students.
According to the court documents, when UGA officers searched their home in September 2011, they found blank magnetic ID card strips and driver's license laminates for the states of Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and New Jersey. UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said that they also confiscated round 600 fake drivers' licenses, but the actual number is believed to be more than 2,000.
Williamson said that the fake ID's resembled the original ones with watermarks and holograms. Students having these can easily fool bar bouncers and liquor store employees as they seem authentic.