Six Charged in Conspiracy Allegedly Stole from Laramie McDonald’s, Other Businesses
Six people from New York and Georgia who appeared Friday in Albany County Circuit Court on conspiracy and theft charges are suspects in similar cases reported in other cities.
Four of the six are scheduled to appear again Thursday for continued arraignments. Jose Modesto Adon Cano, 22, and Johnathan Marino Guerrero-Santana, 25, each pleaded not guilty Friday; scheduling conferences are set for July 21.
Police citations allege the theft of $150 against one person as well as conspiracy by all six to commit the theft.
Each defendant is being held on $7,500 cash bond.
Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Mike Simmons said he and other troopers began searching for the group after the Laramie Police Department asked other agencies to be on the lookout for a sky blue Chrysler Town and Country minivan shortly after 3:10 p.m. Wednesday as LPD officers investigated a report of the group purchasing gift cards with fraudulent credit cards.
Simmons says troopers fanned out to search for the group. Trooper Argel Sierra stopped the suspect vehicle at 3:56 p.m. on I-80 at milepost 266 and detained the group.
Inside the vehicle was a machine the group allegedly used to make fraudulent credit cards along with a black trash bag full of fraudulent credit cards and gift cards.
"The machine is a little big bigger than a personally-owned printer, like an all-in-one printer," says Simmons. "It was about that size and looked fairly similar, but it definitely didn't have a feed tray or anything like that."
"It only had a little user interface portion, like a small LCD for the machine to communicate with the user," says Simmons. "That's about it."
Simmons says he is aware that the six people arrested Wednesday are suspects in similar incidents reported in Cheyenne and Fort Collins, Colo.
"They're investigating further, going back and trying to find if any other jurisdictions in this region have similar issues or crimes committed that relate to what happened in this area," Simmons says.
It's the type of activity that has Wyoming law enforcement agencies doing their best to educate officers about the alleged process in order to investigate such matters more effectively.
"It's a learning process for us," says Simmons. "I think it's the first time anyone has seen that happen in this area."
"We're trying to get caught up, because we're way behind the eight ball on things like this," Simmons says.