Three men are facing felony charges after the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office says they tried to use counterfeit credit cards at Saks at the Mall at University Town Center.
The three men, all Cuba natives, were arrested Tuesday and released from the Sarasota County jail on varying bonds later the same day, according to the sheriff’s office.
Maykel Medina, 40, of Tampa, was charged with criminal use of personal identification. He was released on a $1,500 bond. Alexander Brito-Magdaleno, 44, of Tampa, was charged with trafficking in or possessing counterfeit credit cards. He was released on a $7,500 bond. Yosmani Alfonso-Cruz, 34, of Hialeah, was charged with possession of a counterfeit driver’s license and trafficking in or possessing counterfeit credit cards. He was released on bonds totaling $9,000.
Just after 2 p.m. Tuesday, deputies were called to Saks Fifth Avenue at the Mall at University Town Center to reports of a fraud, according to arrest reports.
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Loss prevention staff at the department store told deputies the trio came into the store, and Medina attempted to buy something valued at $370, but the credit card he was using was declined. A second credit card was attempted and also declined. Medina, Brito-Magdaleno and Alfonso-Cruz left the store and were seen getting into a black Cadillac Escalade.
Saks called the University of South Florida Credit Union and confirmed that one of the credit cards didn’t belong to Medina and that he was not an authorized user. When deputies arrived, loss prevention staff identified the Escalade in the parking lot the suspects had entered.
Deputies also spoke with the credit union to confirm the identity provided to the store as the card holder, according to reports. The card holder was then called to further confirm that Medina had not been authorized to use the card.
Medina was not the registered owner of the Escalade, nor were either of the other two men, so deputies impounded the SUV. During a search of the vehicle, seven counterfeit credit cards and a fraudulent driver’s license with Alfonso-Cruz’s photo were found.
The investigation remains ongoing, according to the sheriff’s office, and additional charges are pending.