Arrested students’ counterfeit ID shipment came from China

Julie Sickel

The shipment of fake IDs that has two Kent State students facing criminal charges was sent from China.

Brian Bell, the Ohio public affairs representative for United States Customs and Border Patrol, said that the IDs were hidden in an electronic device, and their presence became “painfully apparent” when the device was processed through an X-ray machine.

“It’s one of the things we look for,” Bell said. “We often seize anywhere from two to 90 (IDs) per shipment.”

Drew Patenaude, 20, and Antonino Bucca, 20, were both arrested Thursday evening on charges of identity fraud, forgery and telecommunications fraud.

Bell said 90 counterfeit IDs were found concealed in the shipment, but only 45 people ordered IDs. He explained that in many cases of counterfeit IDs, recipients must order two copies of an ID.

The problem of fake IDs is not isolated to Kent State, Bell said. It is happening in universities of all sizes across the state.

“We’re seeing them coming in daily,” Bell said. “Interestingly enough, people continue to order them and we continue to catch them.”

The investigation has been turned over to the Kent Police Department. Kent Police believe it was the intention of Bucca and Patenaude to distribute the IDs to Kent State students.

In an incident report about Thursday’s arrests, there was a list of 13 witnesses, all Kent State student ages 19 to 20. Lt. Robert Treharn said the witnesses listed may be called to testify in court.


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Patenaude, junior business management major, and Bucca, junior accounting major, are members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. The Delta Upsilon national office was unavailable for comment Monday.

Bucca was released on a recognizance bond Friday, and a preliminary hearing is set for April 8, according to court records. Kevin T. Poland, Portage County Municipal Court judge, arraigned Patenaude Friday morning, and a preliminary hearing is set for April 8. Patenaude has also been released on a recognizance bond.

Bell said U.S. Customs and Border Patrol of Ohio has not recovered any more counterfeit IDs being shipped to the Kent area since the initial incident.

The ongoing investigation, which began February 26, could lead to more arrests.

Contact Julie Sickel at [email protected].