Two men sentenced in gas pump credit card skimming scheme
Hennepin County District Court Judge Lisa Janzen sentenced two men to four years in prison for a gas pump credit card skimming scheme, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.
Roilan Garriga, 20, and Wilbur Perez-Soca, 24, were each sentenced to 48-months in prison. Asleys Acosta, 28, the third defendant and so called “mastermind” of the operation who also pleaded guilty in November, did not show up in court. A nationwide warrant was issued for his arrest.
During their court hearings, the men admitted they planned their trip from Florida to Minnesota for the sole purpose of stealing credit card numbers. They admitted to installing the skimmers at several gas stations and after stealing identities, they went on shopping sprees in the Twin Cities with the forged credit cards including stores at the Mall of America, nightclubs and restaurants.
According to the criminal complaint, about 2:45 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2016, a resident of an apartment next door to the BP station at 2000 Third Ave. S. called police and reported that three men in a white van appeared to be tampering with one of the gas pumps. Police arrived and arrested Garriga, Perez-Soca and Acosta.
Following the arrests, County Attorney Freeman held a news conference with then-Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman who announced that the Commerce Department had launched a statewide crackdown on credit card skimmers at gas pumps. The crackdown includes regularly inspecting retail gas pumps throughout the state and conducting “skimmer sweeps.” The department is also working with gas station operators on training and guidance about how to secure their pumps against tampering.