The Oxford Police Department, working with other Mississippi law enforcement agencies, arrested two men recently that had allegedly been using stolen credit, debit and gift cards in Oxford and other areas for several months.
On Jan. 25, OPD took a report of a credit card fraud from a citizen who still had their card in their possession; however, false purchases were being made. Over the next seven months, more victims came forward to report similar incidents.
Video evidence obtained during this investigation showed two males were working in tandem to withdraw money from ATMs at gas stations and banks using counterfeit cards. Investigators determined that the suspects traveled in a different vehicle each time, stayed for a short period, committed their crimes and left the area.
On Aug. 1, members of the OPD Criminal Investigation Division coordinated with the Southaven Police Department to apprehend Olvein Botell-Gonzalez, 33, of Miami, Florida, and Francisco Menendez-Baldomero, 36, of Miami, Florida, after they crossed into Mississippi from Tennessee.
Once in custody, Oxford investigators transported them to the Lafayette County Detention Center, along with their rental van. A search of the van and their persons revealed a large sum of cash, many counterfeit credit, debit and gift cards, and a set of keys used to unlock gas pumps. Investigators identified the location of where both males were staying in Tunica and executed a search warrant at that location, uncovering several additional electronic devices used to capture credit card numbers and manufacture counterfeit cards.
As a result of the investigation, it was determined they were involved in criminal activity within multiple jurisdictions within the State of Mississippi and possibly other states. The United States Secret Service joined the investigation, and the case has been referred for federal prosecution in the Northern District of Mississippi.
“We would like to thank our federal partners, Southaven Police Department, the Mississippi Analysis and Information Center and the Tunica County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in this case,” said OPD Chief Jeff McCutchen. “These cases can be very difficult to solve and we could not have brought these men to justice without the help of these agencies.”