For Immediate Release
May 26, 2010
Jane E. Young, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Michael S. Lewis, Assistant Attorney General
Direct All Press Inquiries to:
Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane E. Young
New Hampshire Attorney General Michael A. Delaney, United States Attorney John P. Kacavas, and Commissioner John J. Barthelmes, New Hampshire Department of Safety, announce the arrest of seven individuals variously charged for their participation in a bribery, illegal entry, and identity fraud conspiracy facilitated by two employees at the New Hampshire Department of Safety.
The charges allege that one employee of the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles, Donna Rockholt, was paid to provide driver's licenses upon the presentation by license applicants of false identity documents. Among the recipients of these licenses are individuals charged both with illegally entering this country in violation of federal immigration law and with identity theft in violation of federal criminal law.
The charges also allege that a New Hampshire State Trooper, Fred Stamatatos, was paid to provide salvage inspection stickers for vehicles that were not inspected in accordance with state law. The recipient of the salvage inspection stickers, Adalberto Medina, and the State Trooper who accepted the bribe, have both been charged for their conduct in the matter. Medina is separately charged for his role in bribing Donna Rockholt to supply fraudulent licenses.
The investigation was initiated by the Department of Safety, with the arrests and charges in this matter a product of an unprecedented, joint State-Federal investigation spanning several months. The agencies involved in this investigation, which is on-going, include the United States Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), the New Hampshire State Police, the United States Department of State, the United States Social Security Administration, the Office of Inspector General, the United States Internal Revenue Service, the Attorney General's Drug Task Force, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force ("HIDTA"), the New Hampshire National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Manchester Police Department, the Nashua Police Department, the Salem Police Department, the Hooksett Police Department, the Pelham Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, the Lynn Police Department, and the Boston Police Department.
Arrest warrants were executed for the following individuals:
Warrants were issued to search for evidence of the crimes of bribery in official and political matters, as well as dealing in narcotic drugs, at locations connected with individuals charged in this matter.
Attorney General Delaney highlighted the cooperative nature of this vast investigation in dismantling a bribery and identity theft ring within the Department of Safety. He stated that, "Bribery at any level of state government shall not be tolerated, and those who engage in these types of illegal activities will face prosecution to the fullest extent of the law."
Commissioner of the Department of Safety, John Barthelmes, expressed his thanks to his law enforcement partners who assisted in this investigation and described the investigation as an "intensive and proactive effort to combat fraud in the State." He indicated that the Department of Safety continues to be vigilant in maintaining the integrity of the Division of Motor Vehicle license and registration system and stated "systems are in place to identify fraudulent activities and when detected, we are prepared to pursue criminal investigations against any state employee who violates their official duties and the public's trust in furtherance of criminal activity."
United States Attorney John P. Kacavas praised the cooperative efforts of all federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved and stated that "the United States Department of Justice and the US Attorney's Office for the District of New Hampshire will never hesitate to bring its investigative and prosecutorial resources to bear in the effort to root out corruption and illegality at any level."
"When illegal aliens obtain legitimate drivers licenses by fraudulent means, it allows them to apply for other documents and essentially build a false identity," said Matthew J. Etre, acting Special Agent in Charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations in Boston. "Fraudulently obtained, legitimate identity documents are a serious threat to public safety and national security since they allow individuals to enter government buildings, board airplanes and other modes of mass transit. ICE worked aggressively with law enforcement partners in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island to cooperatively target and shut down criminal enterprises which help individuals get identifications to which they are not legally entitled."
Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge, Boston Field Division of the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Social Security Administration said, "The Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration is proud to have been associated with the joint efforts of its fellow law enforcement partners in the investigation of Donna Rockholt, Adalberto Medina, and their co-conspirators. Identity theft and misuse of the social security number are serious crimes. The damage that they cause is even more apparent when they are used as part of a scheme to bribe a public official."
The investigation remains ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated. The charges against these defendants are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301