Two men arrested for card fraud charges

The following is a news release from the Sulphur Police Department:

SULPHUR – According to Police Chief Chris Abrahams, on May 3, 2011, during a traffic stop on Interstate 10, by an interdiction Unit with the Sulphur Police Department officers recovered numerous re-encoded credit cards in the possession of two Cuban American Nationals, Maikeel Estrada and Rene Valero, both of Houston, Texas.

During the investigation, officers with the Sulphur Police Department revealed the two occupants to be possession of approximately 79 re-encoded credit cards. Detective Anthony Mancuso, a member of Southwest Louisiana Financial Crime Task Force assisted with the investigation along with the United States Secret Service.

In addition, there was a second traffic stop in Iberville Parish in which three other Cuban American Nationals were found to be in possession of re-encoded credit cards. At this time the United States Secret Service and the Sulphur Police Department are working together in the investigation working on tying the two investigations together. The case will be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's Office-Western District for possible federal prosecution.

Maikeel Cardenas Estrada, 29 of Houston, Texas was arrested and booked into the Sulphur City Jail on thirty-five counts of access device fraud/credit cards and Rene Morejon Valero, 39 of Houston, Texas was arrested and booked into the Sulphur City Jail on forty-two counts of access device fraud/credit cards. Valero's bond was set at $44,000.00 and Estrada's bond was set at $35,000.00 per Judge Kent Savoie.

Re-encoded Credit Cards are real credit cards that have been re-programmed with special equipment used to rewrite the data on the magnetic strip. The information on the magnetic strip is replaced with stolen credit card data. Cases such as these are a financial burden to every citizen due to the cost to the banking institutions, cost which are most often passed along to the consumer.