MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A federal magistrate judge on Wednesday ordered three men accused of having fake identification documents detained.

Ruben Otoniel Morales, Jesus Valasco and Osbaldo Antonio Velasco all appeared in U.S. District Court.

Their arrest stems from a traffic stop last week in Theodore. Mobile County sheriff’s deputies stopped a truck after getting an alert about possible human smuggling.

What they found, according to law enforcement authorities, were 24 fake IDs, 51 forged payroll-style checks totaling almost $40,000 and other checks totaling more than $30,000.

All three face federal charges of possession with intent to sue or transfer fake identification documents. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, eight of the forged documents used Morales’ picture with different names; seven used Valasco’s picture with different names; and nine used Velasco’s picture with different names.

The ID documents were a mixture of consular identification cards from various countries, permanent resident cards and employment authorization cards.

Deputies also found Pringles cans containing pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes and more forged identification cards, according to the criminal complaint.

According to the affidavit, Morales admitted that he and the two co-defendants met with a man at an Exxon gas station in the Houston area on Nov. 18. He admitted that he was going to cash the forged checks and keep a portion of the proceeds while giving the rest to his contact, the document states.

Morales also told investigators that the trio was headed to Tallahassee, Florida, to work in construction and that their contact had told them to meet him in that city to get further instructions.

All content © 2021, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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