Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
Student Arrested for Fake ID Scheme
On Tuesday afternoon, Fredericksburg detectives served a search warrant at a dorm room in Arrington Hall on the campus of the University of Mary Washington and arrested student John Bonino, 19, for facilitating the manufacture of fictitious official identification (18.2-204.2). The arrest follows several weeks of investigation which began with the interception of a package shipped from China that had been flagged as suspicious by the U.S Postal Inspector’s Service and the Department of Homeland Security.
The package was subsequently seized. Inside the package investigators found multiple fake driver’s licenses issued to eleven different individuals, all of whom supplied their real names and photographs to have the ID’s made. Bonino reportedly arranged for the ordering and purchasing of the fake ID’s for himself and six fellow UMW students, as well as four other college students who attend school outside of the Fredericksburg area. All of the involved students are in their freshman or sophomore year of college. Bonino is from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.
The UMW Police Department has been aware of the ongoing investigation and assisted the Fredericksburg detectives in serving the search warrant and identifying involved students.
According to a detective involved in the case, the ID’s are extremely authentic in appearance and are facsimiles of driver’s licenses from various different states.
None of the intended recipients of the ID’s have yet been contacted by police, but they are encouraged to make arrangements to do so as soon as possible.
Following his arrest, Bonino was released by the magistrate on a $2500 bond. The investigation is ongoing.