DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Two Cuban nationals were arrested in Dayton and taken into federal custody for allegedly placing skimmers on gas pumps to steal credit card data.
Yasmany Ulacia Garcia, 34, and Luis Ernesto Vigil Ochoa, 29, were arrested by police officers on Dec. 8 in Dayton, according to a release from attorney Kenneth L. Parker.
According to the criminal complaint filed against them, the two placed credit card skimmers at gas pumps in Loveland on multiple occasions in April 2022.
It is alleged Garcia and Ochoa then stole credit card information via the skimmers and used that information to purchase gift cards at area stores.
Surveillance video in April 2022 shows the two spending a significant amount of time at self-checkout registers purchasing gift cards and other merchandise at the Home Depot stores in Mason, Hamilton, Lebanon, West Chester, Beechmont and Milford and Cold Spring, Kentucky.
Similar video surveillance shows Garcia and Ochoa allegedly using stolen credit card information to purchase gift cards at the Target in Mason.
Garcia and Ochoa were fugitives for approximately seven months before they returned to Ohio and were encountered by law enforcement last week.
Agents learned Garcia and Ochoa were staying at a hotel on Miller Lane in Dayton and followed them to four Home Depot stores and two Target stores in the greater Dayton area.
Agents discovered multiple gift cards and a fraudulent American Express card in their vehicle. During a subsequent search of the hotel room being used by Garcia and Ochoa, agents discovered a magnetic strip reader and writer and an illicit skimming device.
According to records from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, both Garcia and Ochoa were ordered removed from the United States in 2019.
Knowingly possessing a skimmer device with the intent to defraud is a federal crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.