A group of ten individuals that installed card skimmers on gas pumps and stole card details from thousands of people was sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison.
Two other people involved with the group, namely Juan Carlos Banos of Parma and Carlos Rodriguez Martinez of Aurora Colorado are still at large and are being actively looked for by U.S. law enforcement agencies.
"This group stole credit card information from thousands of people all over Northeast Ohio just looking to fill up their gas tanks and continue on their way," said U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman.
"Instead, these victims had their personal information taken and used to make fraudulent credit cards, which this group in turn used to steal merchandise."
The ten people that got apprehended were sentenced to prison for taking part in the credit-card skimming operation which took place across five states and consisted of the process of installing credit-card skimmers on point-of-sale terminals inside gas pumps.
Moreover, according to court documents, the information stolen using the skimmers was later used by the criminal group to create counterfeit credit cards used to buy goods such as merchandise and gift cards.
The criminal group was dismantled after an FBI, Secret Service, and local police joint operation
"The defendants traveled from Florida to install the skimmers and worked together to distract gas station employees and/or obstruct their view while the skimmers were covertly installed," says the DoJ press release.
The credit card skimmers installed during the criminal operation were found in multiple locations, from Rocky River, Solon, Stow, Hudson, Fairview Park, and Medina, to Cleveland, Canton, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton, and Austintown.
The U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, local police, and other local law enforcement agencies were all involved in the dismantling process of the skimming operation according to U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Schuck.
Almost a week ago, the U.S. Secret Service announced the start of the "Operation Deep Impact" operation to hunt down and remove credit card skimmers from gas pumps all across the U.S.