A former DMV clerk, Maria Cavallaro, and her accomplice, Jose Calderon, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to helping roughly 300 individuals "most of them illegal immigrants" to obtain Virginia-issued "driver's licenses, learner's permits and identification cards for those... [who] were not eligible for them," Washington Post staffer Matt Zapotosky reported in the November 7 paper.
Suffice it to say, such a pervasive criminal conspiracy merits prime real estate in a major metropolitan newspaper, but Post editors seem to disagree, placing the 14-paragraph story on page B8 of Thursday's paper, the very back page of the Metro section:
Calderon told a federal judge Wednesday that the scheme was “my idea,” but that it ran through Cavallaro, a former customer service representative and senior generalist at DMV customer service centers in Chantilly, Alexandria and Fairfax’s Fair Oaks Mall. According to court filings, Cavallaro would process and approve applications of those wanting driver’s licenses, learner’s permits or identification cards even though she knew the applicants could not prove legal presence in the United States.
Calderon, according to the filings, found the applicants and sometimes filled out the applications for them. Charging $2,000, $2,500 or $3,000 per person, he and Cavallaro netted at least $120,000 to split between them, court filings show. Calderon admitted that he brokered transactions for about 100 ineligible applicants, and Cavallaro admitted that another person sent her more than 200 ineligible applicants for illegal processing, court filings show.