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Covington man arrested for alleged driver's license fraud, drug trafficking

CONYERS -- An alleged attempt to obtain a Georgia drivers license with fraudulent documents led to the arrest of an illegal alien on drug trafficking charges.

The Office of Investigative Services with the Georgia Department of Driver Services led the investigation that also involved the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Investigator Danny Smith, with the DDS Office of Investigative Services, said Gumoldo Magana Sandoval Sr., 57, of 3021 River Garden Road, Covington, was arrested May 15 at his home after he allegedly attempted to obtain a drivers license using documents identifying him as a resident of Texas. Sandoval is a Mexican citizen.

Smith said officials obtained arrest and search warrants and went to Sandoval's home where they found a trafficking amount of suspected marijuana and two firearms.

Sandoval was arrested without incident, Smith said. He is charged with false statements/writings; concealment of facts; false swearing; forgery; identity theft fraud when using/possessing identifying information concerning a person; trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, marijuana or methamphetamine; receipt, possession or transfer of firearm by convicted felon or felony first offender.

Smith said warrants were taken for Sandoval after he allegedly attempted to get a drivers license using the birth certificate and Social Security card of a man who lives in Texas. Smith said the investigation that led to Sandoval's arrest involved DDS's Overnight Verification Process, which uses multiple databases to screen drivers license applicants.

"We were successfully able to identify that the person he was trying to be was not the true person," said Smith.

Smith said Homeland Security and ICE will handle the illegal immigration aspect of the case.

"They were with us during the process and they will pursue that end of the charges," said Smith. "Gumoldo Sandoval is a prior deportee, and I'm sure they are going to be looking at applying the appropriate charges, usually after the state level (charges)."

Smith said the ongoing investigation will also address Sandoval's suspected drug trafficking offense in connection with his ties to Mexico.

"I can assure you that at the appropriate level every measure is being taken to look into his past activity and involvement," Smith said.

Smith said his department was particularly pleased with the outcome of this investigation -- from the standpoint of both the fraud and drug charges.

"What we are proud of is the fact that there is that amount of suspected illegal substance that won't be on the streets in Rockdale County or anywhere else, so we are proud of that," he said.