123 Fraud Blvd.: Ex-Cop's Experiment in Homeland Security

ByABC News
June 14, 2006, 9:39 PM

June 15, 2006 — -- Everywhere he goes, retired New York City cop Bruce DeCell carries a forged copy of a Matricula Consular identification card used by millions of illegal Mexican immigrants.

And everywhere he goes -- into airports, train stations, and government office buildings -- it seems the card is accepted without question.

Last week, he used it to breach security at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C.

"I'd like to just run screaming through places so that people wake up and check it," DeCell told ABC News' Law & Justice Unit.

The card, which DeCell bought from a forger on a street corner in California, lists his address as "123 Fraud Blvd.," on "Staton Island, N.Y." His place of birth is listed as "Tijiuna, B.C."

A homeland security spokesman acknowledged the security breach to ABC News and said an investigation was under way.

In recent years, the Mexican government has issued millions of Matricula Consular cards. The official purpose is to help identify Mexican nationals living or working outside of Mexico. U.S officials say the cards are unreliable forms of identification and prone to fraud and misuse.

DeCell's personal experiment in homeland security began in the fall of 2002. He had lost a son-in-law in the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and had become increasingly skeptical about the government's ability to protect its citizens.

Everywhere he looked, he said, he saw "'for show' kind of security.'"

"I'm always thinking about security everywhere I go," he said. "If you thought like I did, the average person would go crazy."

He first used the card in 2002 at the lobby security desk of a public building that houses the offices of the New York State Attorney General. From there, he used the card in airports and train stations around the country, with no questions asked.

"I'm seeing all this 'for show' kind of security, and here's a vulnerability a machine gun can't stop," he said. "This card can get you right into anywhere."