BOISE – Adrian Acosta Alonso, 34, of Florida, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for access device fraud charges and failing to appear in court, announced U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit. Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye imposed the sentence and also ordered Alonso to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.
According to court records and statements made in court, in December 2018, Alonso and his codefendants attempted to pry open a gas pump with a crowbar at a gas station in Meridian. They intended to place a device inside the gas pump capable of recording and storing customers’ financial transaction card information, also known as a skimming device.
Alonso and his codefendants fled the scene after an employee called the police. Alonso and his codefendants were arrested in a nearby van and Meridian police officers located access device-making equipment in the van, including skimming devices, chip readers, a financial transaction card reader/encoder, and security seals for gas pumps.
In addition, officers located 55 blank financial transaction cards and 15 counterfeit financial transaction cards embossed in the names of Alonso and his codefendants. On a laptop, officers additionally located spreadsheets containing 423 financial transaction card numbers along with associated financial transaction card holders’ names, personal identification numbers, and expiration dates.
In February 2019, Alonso and his codefendants were federally charged in the District of Idaho with access device fraud charges, and Alonso was released from custody with the condition to appear in court pursuant to the Bail Reform Act. Thereafter, Alonso pleaded guilty in August 2019, and the Court set a sentencing hearing for November 2019. On that date, however, Alonso knowingly and intentionally failed to appear for the sentencing hearing and instead, fled to Cuba where Alonso is also a citizen. Thereafter, in July 2022, Alonso was separately charged with failing to appear at his sentencing.
Alonso was arrested on both cases upon returning to the United States in December 2022. Judge Nye sentenced Alonso to 12 months in federal prison for access device charges and another 12 months in prison for failing to appear at his sentencing in 2019.
Judge Nye previously sentenced co-defendant Yatsel Aleman Santana, 34, of Florida, in February 2023 to 30 months in federal prison after Santana also fled to Cuba to avoid the same access device fraud charges.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the work of the United States Secret Service and the Meridian Police Department, which led to the charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Mazorol prosecuted the case.