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12 students cited in fake-ID scam

By Liz Dailey
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 25, 1999
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University police detectives arrested 12 UA students on suspicion of attempting to possess fake IDs in the wake of an alleged card manufacturing bust.

The citations stem from University of Arizona Police Department's March 8 fake identification bust that involved two Maricopa Hall residents and two Prescott men.

"It (the citings) started Monday, and hopefully we will be finished issuing citations within the next week," UAPD Cmdr. Brain Seastone said yesterday.

Detectives were unable to disclose the total number of citations they plan to issue for fear it may "hurt the investigation," but police reports stated that officers seized 22 false California driver's licenses during the March 8 bust.

"If they want to turn themselves in, they are more than welcome to," UAPD detective Jose Sprigg said. "Eventually we are going to find them."

Police received an anonymous tip earlier in the month about the fake-ID manufacturing in Maricopa Residence Hall, 1031 E. North Campus Drive.

After two undercover student officers went inside the dorm room and confirmed the operation's existence, UA students Michelle Ratte, 20 and Tovah A. Thomasino, 19, were arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Police confiscated $1,500 that Thomasino allegedly collected from the fake ID customers, reports stated. Both students were taken to Pima County Jail, booked and released later on bond.

Prescott resident Bryan Thompson, 20, was also arrested on suspicion of fraud after he was seen taking photographs of students in the dorm room, reports stated.

Police were led to Thompson's hotel room at University Inn, 950 N. Stone Ave., after they discovered alleged fake-ID equipment was being kept there, reports stated.

Officers obtained a search warrant and entered the room, finding Kenneth Fleming, 26, inside the room along with 20 fake IDs, computer equipment and materials allegedly used to create the cards, reports stated.

Fleming was arrested on suspicion of fraud and taken to Pima County Jail along with Thompson.