DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Detroit man who attracted the attention of law enforcement after he was found sleeping in a U-Haul van with the engine running at a gas pump with another man in Miami County has been sent to prison for counterfeiting credit cards in Ohio.
U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said Tuesday Aaron Johnson, 32, was sentenced in federal court to 21 months in prison for counterfeiting credit cards, and the court entered its judgment Tuesday.
According to court documents, Johnson conspired with 22-year-old Timothy Banks to make money through counterfeiting by re-encoding gift cards with stolen credit card account numbers. In August 2018, Johnson rented a U-Haul van in Rochester, Mich. for what was supposed to be a one-day rental.
Instead, authorities said, Johnson kept the U-Haul for nearly a month and drove it more than 8,000 miles, including to Miami County, Ohio. On Sept. 1, law enforcement officers saw Johnson and Banks asleep in the van connected to a gas station pump with the engine running.
Officers approached the van at the Speedway gas station in Miami County, fearing the men had overdosed in the vehicle. Instead, officers discovered Banks asleep at the wheel and Johnson asleep on an inflatable mattress in the rear compartment of the van. Officers also found a credit card reader/encoder, 12 counterfeit credit cards, 41 re-encoded gift cards, and a total of 54 credit card account numbers. Officers also discovered $100 in Target gift cards and $365 in iTunes gift cards.
Johnson and Banks pleaded guilty in February 2019 to conspiring to use counterfeit access devices. Banks was sentenced earlier this year to probation with home confinement.