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Fargo police make arrest in fake ID operation

Blaise Bitz
Cass County Jail
Blaise Bitz

19-year-old Blaise Bitz allegedly created over 500 fake IDs.

A 19-year-old man has been arrested in Fargo after an investigation revealed he allegedly created and sold over 500 fake IDs.

Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski says profits from the fake ID sales topped more than $40,000. Blaise Bitz was arrested for Felony Counterfeiting and Felony Illegal Control of an Enterprise.

Criminal Investigations Captain Bill Ahlfedt says he can’t remember any instances of fake ID operations being this large. And he says implications of hundreds of minors in possession of those fake IDs in the community are significant.

"It seems somewhat harmless, you know, we have false IDs - 500 of them, getting into our community. But the repercussions of these people using these false IDs, especially when they're very young - or younger adults consuming alcohol and getting into all kinds of things. We've had fatal accidents with people that were underage in the past couple of years, and some other incidents that stem from underage drinking that are very dangerous."

Chief Zibolski says the IDs are sophisticated enough to appear real, and even pass some scanners – but will be caught by biometric scanners. He says getting those scanners into more hands of establishments in the community could make a big difference.

"A biometric type of scanner is really what's needed in the industry to help prevent this. Once we implement that, people who want to try and use fake IDs are going to go somewhere else. That protects our bar owners from potential liability issues, it protects the public from those safety issues that are the unintended outcomes of that activity, and it also helps our department in terms of enforcement and how much time we need to spend in those particular areas, doing that type of work."

The Fargo Police Department began investigating the potential counterfeit operation last September, after a tip came in about suspicious activity. Bitz was arrested on February 14.