Fake IDs have surfaced in Grand Rapids according to the Grand Rapids Police Department, who recently investigated a series of complaints in the area. The investigation was led by Officer William Saw and continues to be under examination.
After the initial complaint was made about the use of a fake ID at a local liquor store, Saw said he made contact with four young adults who recently graduated from Grand Rapids, as well as their parents, who they are all still living with.
During the investigation, Saw said two fake IDs were turned over by the individuals, and two IDs were reported to have been taken, one in a bar in Duluth and one at Moondance.
According to Saw, the four individuals questioned said they got a phone number with a 651 area code, which they texted, and sent a photo, name, real date of birth and address. They then paid $100 through Venmo accounts to the individual providing the IDs, and then the fake Michigan IDs were sent to them in the mail.
“These IDs had the picture they sent on them, used their real name, and simply changed the year on their dates of birth,” explained Saw. “It sounded like there were three states to choose from in regards to the group I was dealing with, which makes sense to use another state because not many people from Minnesota are familiar with how other state IDs or driver’s licenses look.”
During his investigation, Saw said he gathered security at events like Moondance and from bartenders/bouncers in college towns, who he said seem good about confiscating these IDs and telling the minors using them to “scram or law enforcement will be called.”
Throughout these conversations, Saw said it was mentioned that there are a lot of fake IDs coming from China. ID GOD “idgod.pe,” he said, was mentioned as a popular website known to be used.
Saw said that, according to Grand Rapids High School Resource Officer Greg Lease, it seems like every year a group of local seniors get access to fake IDs.
Saw said he used the recent investigation as an opportunity to interact with the offending young adults to educate and explain how their actions could lead to major negative life consequences.
“My theme for talking to youth is really about their decision-making and showing them that poor decisions lead to negative consequences which can have far reaching impacts on their future, specifically having a criminal record for school (college), future careers, military, etc.,” Saw explained. “I base a lot of what I talk about on my own life experiences as well as utilize what I teach DARE kids in fifth grade about decision making.”
Saw said that all parents involved in the recent investigation were “supportive and responsive” to the process and outcomes.
“I’m guessing there were some consequences handed down by parents at home as well after my contact,” he said.
Saw explained that it is a misdemeanor crime (MN Statute 171.22) to possess a false identification card in Minnesota. If it is used to purchase alcohol by an individual under the age of 21, their driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days (MN Statute 171.171). It is also a gross misdemeanor to manufacture or possess equipment used to make false IDs (MN Statute 609.652).
Saw said the department will continue to focus on their goals of “Education, Enforcement and Community Engagement” in this area.