Two illegal immigrants previously apprehended by law enforcement and then released into the U.S. have been charged with running a fraudulent debit card operation in Louisiana.
Yunior Marin Castaneda, 32, and Elenis Fernandez Rodriguez, 35, are both illegal aliens from Cuba. They have been arrested and formally charged by the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office for operating a fraud scheme that involved identity theft victimizing American account holders.
Law enforcement has indicated that a bank employee alerted police last month that a number of the institution’s debit cards had been compromised. The stolen cards had been used at a local store to purchase items.
Employees at the store reportedly told police investigators that they witnessed Castaneda purchase a total of $656 in diesel fuel using six different cards. It took him more than 30 minutes to complete the purchases. He then returned the next day and purchased another $430 worth of diesel fuel.
Police traveled to the store during the latter purchase and detained the two illegal immigrants. They recovered around 30 gift cards from trash cans at the fuel pumps with the aid of employees. Investigators with the sheriff’s office then contacted the U.S. Secret Service regarding the gift cards. It was determined that those cards had been “recoded” using customer information stolen from the compromised debit cards reported by the bank employee.
Castaneda and Rodriquez had reportedly recently illegally crossed into the U.S. over the southern border between Arizona and Mexico. Joe Biden’s border policy there directed that they be released by the Department of Homeland Security into the U.S. with nothing but a court date and a promise to appear.
Both of the illegal migrants were reportedly in possession of fraudulent driver’s licenses and Social Security cards when they were apprehended and arrested. It is believed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not yet issued detainers for either of the defendants although the agency has been given formal notice of their detention by the Vernon Parish Sheriff.
Castaneda is also wanted in Texas for credit card fraud. He and Rodriquez have each been charged in Vernon Parish with 32 counts of monetary instrument abuse, 30 counts of identity theft, and criminal conspiracy.
Both defendants are being held at the Vernon Parish Jail. The local court has set bail for each of them at $120.000.
Since assuming office, Joe Biden has overseen the release of more than 954,000 illegal aliens and border crossers into unknown locations inside the country.