Alleged fake IDers to remain in jail
The alleged counterfeiters from the May 6 fake ID ring bust on Rugby Road were in court again and will not be leaving jail in the near future as the government amasses evidence against them and promises more charges. Attorney Tim Heaphy. The May 7 criminal complaint had noted $200,000 was in a safe in the house.
Despite such liquidity, that's not likely to help 31 year old Alan McNeil Jones. He appeared in court May 16 with attorney (and frequent Hook legal analyst) David Heilberg, who said if Jones' access to legitimate funds to pay his fee fell through, he'd need to move to withdraw from the case.
Heaphy told Judge Waugh Crigler he had a couple of concerns about Jones' ability to hire an attorney, given that four to seven bank accounts and over $1 million cash had been seized and he was unaware of Jones having "a legitimate source of income."
"I understand Mr. Heilberg is expensive," said Crigler.
The judge informed Jones that he had the right to be indicted after a certain period. When Jones consulted Heilberg seated beside him, Crigler said, "I can repeat it. You don't need a translator."
Jones waived a preliminary hearing in which the government produces evidence to establish probable cause within 30 days, and he did not request bail at this time. Nor did his co defendants, Mark Bernardo and Kelly McPhee.
Currently Jones and McPhee are charged with three felony counts for mail, wire, and false identification fraud. Bernardo is charged with fake ID fraud and money laundering. Attorney Heaphy has promised more charges.
Bernardo appeared in court with public defender Fred Heblich, who was assisted by Jessica Phillips. (She's representing Supervisor Chris Dumler, who was in court May 20 seeking dismissal of a petition for his removal from office.)
Heblich told the judge that Bernardo's mother and two sisters were in town from New York, and indicated that his client would like to be considered for bail in the future. Mary Bernardo, who wiped tears from her eyes in court, declined to comment after the hearing.
Of the three defendants, Best Fake ID websites McPhee seems to have the most local ties, and more than a dozen family members and friends were in court for her brief appearance. She seemed more composed than at her appearance a week ago, and once again mouthed, "I love you" to her parents before she was led out.
"All of them had multiple false IDs," said Heaphy. And inside the house at 920 Rugby Road, investigators have found driver's licenses from 15 to 20 states, said Heaphy, as well as student IDs.
The search warrant inventory provided a detailed list of items taken from the house, including 18 firearms. Two Smith Wesson .40 caliber pistols, two Ruger .22 caliber handguns and two Ruger rifles, four Browning 9mm handguns, and a Sears Ted Williams 20 gauge shotgun were among the weaponry, as was a Streetwise stun gun.
Everything needed to produce what investigators described as "high quality fraudulent driver's licenses" was found in the house, including multiple computers, printers, laminators, and driver's license card stock with state logo holograms, presumably a product not found at Staples. Postal Service envelopes and materials, fast Fake ID which the criminal complaint alleges the three used to mail the fake IDs after being paid in cash at a PO box at the main Charlottesville post office.
Cash seemed to be all over the house, given the varying amounts from $24,017 to $35 listed on the inventory.
The search warrant inventory also notes a safety box key, a bag of "leafy green material," a photo of McPhee firing a weapon, and a fake Connecticut license with her photo on it.
Heaphy acknowledged that he'd never seen a fake ID ring on this scale before.
Serious question: why are the two men's mugshots shown, but the woman's glamor shot is shown?
It may prove to be a challenge for the hook to report this story impartially. A pretty white girl is alleged to be part of a criminal conspiracy. The feds are amassing the evidence against her. Instead of her curly locks and bubbly nature, that evidence should be the sole deciding factor of her fate.
Based on the hook's previous story on this alleged criminal, and the editorial decision to print the photo above, it is highly unlikely that this media outlet can report on this story impartially.
Mr. Heilberg is an experienced attorney, even if perhaps not quite in the top of his class at W Not law review. Still, a good enough lawyer. And if there was a warrantless search that led to that raid, isn't everything coming after that fruit of the poisonous tree? Speculation of course. Mostly. But the only way to fight police state tactics is with rigorous application of the law.
Aluminum hat wearer go READ the articles and stories out there. They had warrants, they dotted all their Is and crossed all their Ts. The reason they swooped in as they did is the guns, the fact this went Federal and became a Homeland Security issue as well.
Let's bring back the good ol' times courtesy of an ultra conservative legislature. Go Virginia.
So what about those homegrown terrorists getting their hands on those weapons.
It is odd, though certainly intentional, how to get a fake id that the Hook would feature the woman's smiling portrait while the men get mugshots, and that her portrait would bew featured front and center literally blocking out the other defendants so that their faces are cut in half. We get a clue as to how the coverage for this trial is going to go.