Plea Deal in the Works? Lawyers Hinting about RMV Clerk at Center of Fake-IDs-for-Illegal-Aliens Allegations

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2017/08/23/plea-deal-in-the-works-lawyers-hinting-about-rmv-clerk-at-center-of-fake-ids-for-illegal-aliens-allegations/

BOSTON — The pending federal indictment of Evelyn Medina, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles clerk busted last month in connection with an alleged fraudulent driver’s license and identity-theft ring tailored to illegal aliens, won’t likely be handed down until October — if at all — especially given the potential for a plea agreement.

UPDATE — Thursday, 11:20 a.m. — The presiding judge has granted the extension:

According to recent filings in federal court, prosecutors and Medina’s defense attorney have asked U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to push her September 1 indictment deadline back to October 2. The joint request, “on the ground that the ends of justice served by granting the extended continuance and excluding these periods outweighs the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial,” was filed Tuesday.

The latest filing notes that “the parties have been engaged in preliminary discussions the possible resolution of this matter” — which could result in a plea agreement. Medina’s attorney, R. Bradford Bailey, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia Carris have apparently agreed that the extension “may work to the defendant’s benefit and would assist the government’s ongoing investigation.”

Medina’s last court appearance saw Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler rule that there exists probable cause to believe Medina indeed committed a crime. A review of an audio copy of Medina’s August 11 probable cause hearing, obtained by New Boston Post, shows that her attorney attempted to raise doubt as to whether the government could definitively prove a key allegation facing Medina — that it was indeed she who accessed her own computer terminal to scan the Social Security records of hundreds of entries, all without completing any transactions.

Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Benjamin Miller testified that the activity on Medina’s computer was “highly unusual” and also backed up other key findings mentioned in the original affidavit.

According to the unsealed affidavit, Medina was the central figure in a scheme that involved three other RMV clerks and a tandem of illegal document vendors. Miller testified that one of the fraudulent transactions involving Medina featured a man with the last name of “Rivera,” for whom an ID was issued exactly one day after a confidential informant posing as a document dealer visited Medina at her RMV station at the agency’s Haymarket location in Boston.

Miller testified that Rivera’s identity was lifted from a Puerto Rico resident who is a U.S. citizen.

“The photo is not of the same person,” Miller said about the ID card allegedly issued to the informant by Medina.

The confidential informant who posed as Rivera, according to Miller, stands 5 feet 5 inches’ — while the height of “true Rivera” happens to be 5 feet 9 inches.

Medina’s attorney later cross-examined Miller in what appeared to be an effort to raise doubt concerning who may have actually accessed Social Security records at Medina’s work station. Bailey also looked to raise skepticism as to the reliability of the tipster whose anonymous note to Massachusetts State Police officially singled-out Medina and led to the investigation.

Bailey later pointed out that while the affidavit alleges that Medina pocketed $300 during the specific transaction involving “Rivera,” there exists no audio or surveillance video documenting the exchange.

Carrie pointed, however, to an exhibit submitted which she said “clearly shows an instance where not only was the identification card issued to an imposter, it was issued by the defendant on a day that the imposter wasn’t even at the RMV — and it was issued after the defendant in this case had met with the document vendor who sold the informant the fraudulent identification.”

“There is more than probable cause to allow this complaint to stand,”

The magistrate judge agreed.

Not addressed during Medina’s August 11 probable cause hearing were questions raised during her August 4 detention hearing. Specifically, Medina allegedly gave conflicting versions of the truth regarding her travels to and from the Dominican Republic to investigators, while prosecutors also discovered discrepancies in her listed date of birth.

Medina and the five others fingered by investigators have been charged with aggravated identity theft.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Talwani had yet to rule on whether she will grant the joint request to postpone the filing of Medina’s federal indictment.

Comments

comments