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If you’re an underage drinker who spent a few bucks to buy a fake ID, you’d better not hand it to Russ Wright.

In the past 11 years, Wright has confiscated more than 11,000 false IDs during his tenure at Liquor Mart. Wright’s knack for spotting fakes extends beyond driver’s licenses to other documents, including military IDs, foreign driver’s licenses and passports.

As a graphic artist and videographer, Wright can detect subtle nuances in type faces and styles, signatures, designs and textures. He even teaches classes in how to spot fakes to workers in the restaurant industry.

His most impressive snag was eight fakes in a single day’s work. And you’d better not borrow an older sibling or friend’s ID, either. Wright can tell if it’s really you in that photo.

Other than being against the law, Wright says, underage drinking is an important issue because it can lead to deaths from alcohol poisoning and violence.

“This job is not something I set out to do,” he says, “but after many years of praise from parents, city officials and even the governor, it has been rewarding.”

So don’t think you can pull the wool over his eyes, Wright says. “This is not the place to bring a fake ID.”

—Carol Brock