A Boston man who turned away from gang life and landed a job as a Registry of Motor Vehicles clerk received an 8-month federal prison sentence Monday for his role in a scheme to sell fraudulent licenses and other documents to illegal immigrants, according to prosecutors and court records.
David Brimage, 46, a former clerk at the RMV Haymarket branch, was sentenced during a hearing in US District Court in Boston. He pleaded guilty in November to a charge of producing a false identification document.
An affidavit filed in the case said Brimage was identified as an RMV clerk who “knowingly issued fraudulent MA [driver’s licenses] and/or ID cards to illegal aliens, believed to be from the Dominican Republic, who are using counterfeit identification documents of the stolen identities of United States Citizens.”
Authorities were alerted to the scheme in 2015.
Prosecutors said two other co-defendants, Angel Miguel Beltre Tejada, 32, and Bivian Yohanny Brea, 41, obtained identification documents belonging to US citizens in Puerto Rico and sold them to clients seeking legitimate identities in Massachusetts.
The clients included illegal immigrants who were previously deported, including one person who had faced drug charges, authorities said.
Tejada received several hundred dollars for his work on each case, while Brea collected up to $2,700 per identity, according to prosecutors.
Brea brought clients to the Haymarket RMV, where Brimage and fellow clerks Evelyn Medina, 56, Annette Gracia, 37, and Kimberly Jordan, 33, would accept “hundreds of dollars in cash to illegally issue authentic RMV documents, including Massachusetts licenses and ID cards,” said US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office in a statement. “The clerks also accepted bribes to use the RMV’s system to run queries, including Social Security number audits, to confirm that the identities the clients were stealing actually belonged to verifiable individuals.”
All the defendants have now been sentenced for their roles in the brazen scheme.
Brimage’s lawyer, Charles W. Rankin, described his client in a recent court filing as a man who had been “involved with gangs” in Boston’s Mission Hill section as a youth but rejected that lifestyle while serving a state prison sentence for a drug conviction.
“This posed serious difficulties for him ... when he was pressured and threatened by gang members,” Rankin wrote. “Notwithstanding that pressure, he was steadfast in his resolve to turn his life around. He was also pressured after his release, but stayed away from the gangs and successfully completed his probation.”
Brimage, Rankin said, has worked steadily since his release from prison in 1997, working at New England Baptist Hospital, New England Medical Center, Edible Arrangements, and the RMV for seven years until his arrest in the federal case.
He’s currently working as a delivery driver to “make ends meet and to pay off the outstanding balance on his auto loan,” Rankin wrote.
Brimage, a father of two, will face significant financial challenges when he completes his 8-month sentence, according to Rankin.
In a statement Tuesday, Lelling decried the conduct of Brimage and his co-defendants, calling the scheme “egregious.”Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.