Port Watchman’s Permit Revoked for Possession of 3 Counterfeit U.S. Passport Cards
August 20, 2018
The Commission ordered the revocation of the temporary permit of Port Watchman Derick Akaho, 24, of Newark, New Jersey, and also ordered the denial of his Application for a Port Watchman License following a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
The Commission established at the hearing that on October 6, 2017, Akaho was driving a car in Washington Township, New Jersey, when he was stopped by local police for speeding. Police observed a small quantity of alleged marihuana in the vehicle and requested him to step out of the vehicle. When he was asked to empty his pockets, Akaho produced three counterfeit U.S. Passport Cards, purportedly issued by the U.S. Department of State, each bearing Akaho’s photograph but issued under three separate names and the same date of birth. Certain countries accept a U.S. Passport Card as proof of citizenship in lieu of a passport. Akaho told police that he needed the cards to send money to his home country of Ghana, since, according to Akaho, the money sending services, such as Western Union, that he was using had individual monetary caps.
Washington Township police released Akaho pending their investigation and Akaho was never formally charged with a crime relating to the counterfeit cards.
The ALJ found that Akaho knew that he possessed the three counterfeit Passport Cards and that he knew it was illegal to possess them. The ALJ further found that Akaho’s “purpose in using the cards was to deceive and defraud” Western Union or MoneyGram. Accordingly, the ALJ held that Akaho did not possess good character and integrity, the standard for a Port Watchman and recommended that his temporary permit be revoked and his application be denied. The Commission followed the recommendation of the ALJ.