RICHMOND, Va. — When you hear the words fake ID, you likely think of underage kids trying to buy alcohol, but IDs can pose a much greater risk.
It started with a routine traffic stop and ended with a trooper busting a multi-million dollar fake ID ring.
"The trooper had seen fake IDs before, but was impressed with the quality of these IDs," explained U.S. Postal Inspector David Cunningham.
After being questioned, the minors admitted they had the IDs to purchase alcohol and told the trooper how they got them.
Inspectors say the minors had sent thousands of dollars along with personal information to get the cards made.
"The purchasers of the IDs used their official university email address. At that point, you are now sharing your university email address, along with your mailing address and your name and other information to, now, an illegal business," Cunningham said.
In addition to the issue of underage drinking, the high quality IDs posed an even more serious problem.
"It really presented a national security issue because the way the business was set up, one customer could purchase fraudulent IDs for any other number of customers as well," Cunningham revealed.
The important take away for young people is don't give out your personal information to anyone and think twice before making a mistake that will following you the rest of your life.
"Don't do something now for a temporary pleasure that you're going to greatly regret later. In some states, possessing and using and presenting a fraudulent identification is a felony and that can ruin your career from the very beginning," Cunningham advised.
The two masterminds behind this scheme made more than $20,000 fake IDs and are serving up to five years behind bars.