LMPD detective becomes victim during credit card skimming investigation
An LMPD investigation into a man for suspected credit card skimming found that an LMPD was one of the suspect's alleged victims.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An undercover investigation into a man for suspected credit card skimming found that an LMPD detective was one of the suspect's alleged victims.
According to the arrest report, 31-year-old Noslen Hernandez Guerra was under investigation for suspected credit card skimming when one of the detectives learned that his credit card had been "skimmed and used at multiple Thornton's gas stations in Louisville to purchase at least $250 in diesel fuel."
Police say surveillance video showed Guerra buying the fuel on Aug. 16 and pumping it into a fuel tank concealed in the bed of a Chevy Silverado pickup truck.
Detectives involved in a separate investigation caught up with Guerra as he arrived at a location being searched in the 7000 block of Black Mountain Drive. After searching Guerra's vehicle, detectives found a stack of 12 re-encoded credit cards hidden under a piece of trim under the glove box. When the cards were checked with a scanning device, "detective located the cloned credit card belonging to the LMPD detective."
After searching Guerra's residence, police found another 48 cards that were either re-encoded with stolen credit card numbers or blank counterfeit cards bearing the names of various financial institutions.
Investigators also found a device used to embed stolen credit card information onto credit cards and a foil label machine used to cover the raised lettering on the cards.
Police say they also found about $8,000 in cash, as well as a fake Ohio drivers license with the suspect's photo, along with several credit cards embossed with stolen information bearing the same name listed on the fake drivers license.
Police say Guerra is already on federal probation for similar offenses out of Miami, Florida.
According to a recent article from the Associated Press, a black market for diesel and gasoline has rapidly spread around the nation, with organized crime gangs using fraudulent credit cards to siphon millions of dollars in fuel from gas stations into large tanks hidden inside pickup trucks and vans.
The black market has grown quickly in part because the thefts total a few hundred dollars at a time, and prosecutors were slow to prioritize them. But as fuel thefts become more organized, they have caught the attention of state and federal authorities around the country.
Guerra is charged with use of a scanning device/re-encoder to access transaction information from credit cards, trafficking in financial information, unauthorized production of a credit card, false making or embossing of a credit card, and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
His bond was set at $20,000 cash.
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