Texas DPS employee pleads guilty to CDL fraud scheme
March 6, 2020
A Texas Department of Public Safety Employee (DPS) has pleaded guilty to charges for his alleged role in a CDL scheme, according to federal court documents.
In February, Alonzo Blackman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and honest services fraud in a Texas western district federal court. Sentencing is scheduled for May 13.
Blackman was indicted last summer with two other men, Fernando Guardado Vasquez and Marino Maury Diaz-Leon.
From January 2017 to June 2019, Vazquez and Diaz-Leon, both Cuban citizens who reside in Texas, are alleged to have paid Blackman, a Texas DPS employee, to falsely certify that certain applicants for CDLs had passed their skills portion of the test.
Those applicants had either previously failed the test or otherwise would have failed if taken under normal conditions.
According to the court documents, Vazquez and Diaz-Leon would provide Blackman with the names and information of the applicants. Blackman would then falsely indicate that the applicants had passed their skills test. Subsequently, he would print out a temporary CDL license for those applicants. Unknowingly, Texas DPS would send them a permanent CDL under the assumption they had satisfied all of the requirements.
The majority of these illegally obtained CDLs were allegedly handed out to Cuban citizens living in the U.S. Court documents do not mention how many CDLs were fraudulently obtained. How much Blackman was paid for his alleged role in the scheme is also unknown.
All three defendants face charges of one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to produce identification documents without lawful authority and one count of conspiracy to transfer identification documents created without lawful authority.
Both Vazquez and Diaz-Leon pleaded not guilty. However, a plea agreement hearing is scheduled for April 9.
The investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas DPS Rangers.