Chief of Police
January 23, 2008
For more information call: 423-585-4680
Two Morristown residents are in jail this morning and numerous items and two vehicles were seized as the result of two search warrants executed last night in the city limits of Morristown following a several months long investigation into a fraudulent document mill being operated out of two residences. A short time after 9:00 p.m. on 01-22-08 officers and agents of the Morristown City Police Department simultaneously executed two search warrants, one at 1105 Sherwood Drive, and the other at 423 Walters Drive. Officers also had in hand an outstanding warrant on one of the subjects arrested.
During the search of both residences, agents found multiple documents believed to be fraudulent, including international driver’s licenses, resident alien cards, social security cards, and passports. Also found and seized were computers and other electronic equipment allegedly used to manufacture the fraudulent documents, along with supplies associated with these items, to include cameras, scanners, laminators, labels, and laminate. Two vehicles believed to have been used to transport these items were also seized, a blue 1995 Chevrolet Blazer and a green 1995 Ford Contour.
Although no substantial amount of money was located during these particular searches, documents located at both residences indicate that money had been wired to Mexico on a regular basis.
Humerto Otero Cea, 30 years old of 423 Walters Drive, is charged with four counts of criminal simulation. An outstanding warrant for Mr. Cea was also served upon him concerning an incident during the undercover operation in which he sold one resident alien card and one social security card to an undercover informant working with the Morristown Narcotics / Vice Division. He was arrested at the 1105 Sherwood Drive location.
Rene Otero Bautista, 25 years old of 1105 Sherwood Drive, is also charged with four counts of criminal simulation. He was found to be in possession of a forged international driver’s permit, a forged social security card, a forged resident alien card, and a forged Tennessee identification card as a result of the search warrant, also at 1105 Sherwood Drive.
“At this time we do not believe these individuals to be legally documented to be in the United States,” stated Morristown City Police Chief Roger Overholt. “We will ask that the subjects be held without bond pending positive identification, and we will also request that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) place detainer warrants on the subjects.”
Morristown authorities continue to work to determine the extent of the operation. Records located at the residences indicate that the individuals arrested had worked in Hamblen and surrounding counties for more than one year, which leads police to believe they had been providing fraudulent documents to individuals during that time frame.
“It is vitally important that we as a local agency address these type operations,” continued the Chief. “By putting these fraudulent document mills out of business on a local level, we believe the effect will have an impact throughout the region. It is our intent to continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those responsible for these types of crimes, as well as the individuals who use the fraudulent documents.”