Credit Card Fraud Suspect Caught During Operation
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit conducted an operation targeting suspected vehicles involved with recent credit card fraud and fuel theft investigations.
During the operation, detectives observed an individual conducting multiple credit card transactions at the gas pump at a local WaWa gas station. The suspect vehicle was identified as a white 2002 Ford F-250 Crew Pickup truck. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle and the driver was identified as Pavel Andres Martinez Martinez (DOB 08/06/77).
During a search of the vehicle, after-market piping was found connected from the driver’s side area through the rear of the cab and into the truck bed where a homemade 100-gallon storage tank was discovered under the bed cover.
Martinez was also in possession of eighty (80) total credit cards & gift cards, which he attempted to conceal in his pants. After researching the cards, seventy-two (72) of them were determined to be cloned credit cards containing unsuspecting victims credit card numbers encoded on the back magnetic strip.
Martinez was arrested and charged with Trafficking/Possession of Counterfeit Credit Cards, Unlawful Conveyance of Fuel, and Concealing Physical Evidence. The vehicle was impounded for possible asset forfeiture. Martinez was released on a $45,000 bond. All the financial institutions are being contacted to be made aware of the account breach.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit is diligently working on identifying, catching, and arresting these and other types of fraudsters in their ongoing campaign against what was labelled last year as the “Cloned Wars”.