A Delray Beach man who authorities say conspired to issue fraudulent driver licenses and identification cards to illegal immigrants was arrested Thursday.
Chesnel Carjuste, 55, surrendered himself to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to face charges of conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation for an official, conspiracy to commit official misconduct and unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior.
He is being held on a $150,000 bond, the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office said in a news release.
A probable cause affidavit alleges that between January 2008 and April 2009, Carjuste conspired with a former Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles examiner to provide the fake licenses and identification cards at the department's Delray Beach office. According to the affidavit, Carjuste was identified as a 'facilitator' who contacted examiners on the immigrants' behalf.
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Prosecutors allege that several examiners from the state license bureau in Delray Beach took payoffs to obtain driver licenses for more than 1,500 illegal immigrants.
The investigation, conducted by a multi-agency task force, has led to the arrest of eight people. Since November, former driver license examiners Debbie Hunter-Collins, Melita Dera Zilea, Jashonda Kaliha Scott, Chenita Byrd Mosley and Patreese Shavaughn Harvey have pleaded guilty to taking bribes.
Charges were filed against Carjuste last year. He was one of six facilitators identified in sworn testimony, according to the affidavit.
Prosecutors said that Carjuste and other co-conspirators would meet the immigrants in the parking lot where they would provide them with counterfeit documents. They would then walk the immigrants through the process or mark the paperwork so that the pre-arranged examiner would recognize them, the state attorney's release stated.
According to the affidavit, the examiners and the facilitators received anywhere from $150 to $800 from clients.