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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 8, 2018

Two Dominican Nationals Detained for Possession of Fraudulent Credit Card, ID Document Manufacturing Equipment

PROVIDENCE, RI – Two Dominican nationals were ordered detained in federal custody today after Pawtucket Police allegedly discovered them with a large array of equipment and materials used to produce fraudulent identification documents, credit cards and skimming equipment used to steal credit and debit card data.

Juan Josue Rodriguez-Castro, 35, and Wilberd Armando Reyes-Castro, aka “Jose M. Robels-Burgos,” 25, were arrested by Pawtucket Police on Wednesday when officers discovered the equipment after responding to a 911 emergency call for an alleged home invasion at the men’s residence.

United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Pawtucket Police Chief Tina Goncalves and Resident Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service Brian Deck announce the filing of a federal criminal complaint charging Rodriguez-Castro and Reyes-Castro with possession of equipment to produce fraudulent credit cards and possession of equipment to produce fraudulent identification documents.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, it is alleged that on June 6, 2018, Pawtucket Police received a 911 emergency call reporting a home invasion in progress. The caller stated that she was in video communication with a person inside an apartment where a home invasion was occurring, and that she saw a struggle and heard someone inside the apartment state that someone had a firearm.

Upon arrival at the residence, Pawtucket Police detained three individuals as they fled out a rear door. It is alleged that jewelry and a watch belonging to individuals inside the apartment were located on the individuals detained by the officers. Officers then entered the apartment to search for the firearm allegedly used in the robbery.

Inside the apartment, officers encountered the occupants and observed in the dining room a large amount of computer equipment, including a lap top, color printers, a laminating machine and a shredder.  The officer also saw a box addressed to Juan Rodriguez which contained a home-made ATM-style card reader and a DHL package containing American Express signature stickers similar to those used on the backs of credit cards. In a trash barrel, an officer observed an American Express card, and a Connecticut driver’s license. A Pawtucket Police officer conducted a query of the Connecticut driver’s license number and learned that there was no record of that number on file.

Based on the discovery of these items, the Pawtucket Police applied for and obtained a court-authorized search warrant. The execution of the search warrant resulted in the seizure of a mountain of materials used to fraudulently produce identification documents and credit cards as well as skimming equipment used to fraudulently obtain credit and debit card data of unsuspecting individuals.

The items seized by police included at least 7 laptops, skimming equipment used to steal credit and debit card information at gas pumps, a mobile credit card reader, the apparent inside of an ATM machine, a photo ID card printer, numerous flip phones, a laminating machine, color printers, numerous flash drives, other card readers, card scanners, blank checks, boxes of identification holograms used to make driver’s licenses from the states of Wyoming, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Tennessee and Connecticut, 3 Dominican passports in the names of other individuals, numerous blank credit cards with chips, paper cutter, color ribbons and numerous other items commonly used in the creation of fraudulent identification documents and access devices. 

Reyes-Castro and Rodriguez-Castro made initial appearances in federal court today and were ordered detained by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond. Immigration detainers have been lodged against both defendants by Immigration and Custom Enforcement.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

The matter is being investigated by the Pawtucket Police Department, United States Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Immigration
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
18-71
Updated June 8, 2018