HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind.– Police say a credit card skimming group was dismantled last week when officers arrested three suspects.
On June 22, officers stopped two vehicles for following too closely along westbound I-70 in western Hancock County. Prior to the stop, the vehicles had exited the interstate after seeing a police car and then got back on together shortly after.
When an officer made contact with one of the drivers, he observed several indicators of criminal activity. Additionally, the registered owner of the vehicle was not in the car.
The driver identified himself as Conte Nistor, 26, of Romania. Nistor gave officers consent to search his vehicle, a gray BMW from Fairfield, California. A fake Italy ID was found in his possession.
Troopers also detected indicators of criminal activity in the other vehicle, a Mercedes driven by an alleged 22-year-old man who also produced a fake Italy ID. It was later discovered he is 15 years old and also from Romania. The passenger in that car was identified as Mihai Marian, 19, of Romania.
During a search of the Mercedes, troopers found the entire trunk was full off illegal electronic credit card skimmers, credit cards, a laptop and “multiple tools and supplies used in the manufacturing of illegal credit card skimmers,” according to police.
More than 300 pieces of evidence were recovered. The evidence showed the crew had links in Indiana, Ohio, Colorado, California and Tennessee.
Police say the skimming devices were manufactured with the ability to capture video, access magnetic strip data and were powered by cell phone batteries. Five complete sets of skimmers were found, along with a laptop that contained a reprogramming card reader.
Evidence from the Mercedes connected Nistor to the large-scale operation.
The juvenile was detained at the Delaware County juvenile detention center. Marian and Nistor were arrested and taken to the Hancock County Jail. Officers said none of the suspects cooperated them following the arrests.
The Indianapolis District Office for the United States Secret Service was called in post arrest to assist in analyzing the massive amounts of evidence.
All three suspects face felony charges of fraud on a financial institution, unlawful possession of a card skimming device.