FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A Union City, N.J., man is being sought after failing to appear today to be arraigned on an 18-count Indictment alleging he purchased more than $45,000 in pesticides and pesticide applicators from wholesale suppliers using stolen credit and debit card numbers, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Luis Colon, a/k/a “Mike,” a/k/a “Junito,” 28, was obligated to appear this morning in Newark federal court, before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh, for a reading of the charges against him and to enter his plea to the Indictment, but failed to do so. A bench warrant for his arrest was issued in Sept. 22, 2011, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk after the defendant, who was out on bail with electronic monitoring after being charged in a federal Complaint, failed to appear on an unrelated local criminal matter in Philadelphia.
According to the Indictment filed Nov. 11, 2011, in Newark federal court:
Luis Colon and his co-conspirators obtained credit and debit card numbers by calling individuals in Michigan and posing as representatives of a local utility company. They then used the stolen credit card and debit card numbers to purchase pesticides and pesticide applicators from wholesalers outside New Jersey to be shipped to various locations, including Colon’s home address in Union City and a co-conspirator’s address in West New York, N.J. They then sold the products to a pesticide retailer in Philadelphia for cash. The stolen debit and credit card numbers were also used to purchase bus tickets, which were used by Colon and others to transport the pest control products to Philadelphia.
Colon is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud (Count One), 15 counts of access device fraud (Counts Two through 16) and two counts of aggravated identity theft (Counts 17 and 18). If convicted , Colon faces a maximum potential penalty per fraud count of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He also faces a mandatory penalty on the aggravated identity theft counts of two years in prison – to run consecutive to his sentence on the other counts – and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, with the investigation leading to the Indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen P. O’Leary of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This individual should be considered armed and dangerous. Citizens should not attempt to apprehend this or any other fugitive. In an emergency, dial 911. Anyone with information regarding the location of Colon or about this case is encouraged to contact the FBI at 973-792-3000. Additional information can be found at http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/ce.
Defense counsel: Alexander W. Booth, Esq.