HUNTINGTON — Five individuals arrested at a downtown Huntington hotel early Sunday morning face several charges surrounding what police are calling one of the most elaborate credit card fraud schemes they've seen locally.
Gabriele Tonisha Bradford, 29; Anthony Deandre Bush, 26; Markanthony Goday Castillo, 30; Terry Lynn Clay, 51; and Byron Keith Malbrough Jr., 35, were arrested at a hotel in the 800 block of 3rd Avenue in Huntington just after midnight Sunday.
The Huntington Police Department charged them with possession with intent to deliver, fraudulent use of an access device, fraudulent schemes and conspiracy. The defendants were all housed at Western Regional Jail on $100,000 bonds.
Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial praised the quick reaction of hotel management and the thorough follow-through by the patrol and detective bureaus, which he said led to the arrests.
"We were contacted by the management of the () hotel," he said. "Our officers went and did an initial investigation and discovered what our detectives are declaring to be one of the most elaborate credit card fraud schemes they've ever seen."
Officers David Malcomb, Sean Brinegar, Michael Lipscomb, Jordan Mcclellan, Tyler Meade, Mike Sperry and detectives Jason Davis and Steve Fitz all worked the case.
In their narratives, Malcomb and Brinegar said the hotel contacted police after being contacted by a bank, which stated a fraudulent credit card had been to rent a room on Friday. Officers went to the room, and Clay allegedly opened the door and stepped out into the hallway to speak with officers, stating his 21-year-old daughter was the only one inside the room. As he did this, officers heard loud movement inside the room and upon pushing the door open, the three other male defendants were seen in the room moving items around. Bradford also later joined the group from around a corner.
Once inside the room, officers found a package that said "transfer paper," a laptop connected to a credit card swiping device, card printers, a card embosser machine and several credit cards laying around. Officers found several "stacks" of credit cards with different individual names in the room.
The men told police they were from Texas, had visited Michigan and were returning back to Texas.
The patrol officers then decided to contact detectives to investigate, and all the individuals were taken into custody and transported to HPD headquarters for processing.
A search warrant was obtained for the hotel room and a vehicle allegedly rented by the group with another fraudulent credit card. Dial said the officers found the defendants to be in possession of illegal drugs, which was sent to the forensics lab to determine the identities. The amount of the suspect drug they found was enough for each to be charged with felony possession, he said.
Two vehicles were towed for further investigation, but a box truck believed to be rented by the group is missing, the report said.
Several other individuals have been booked at Western Regional Jail in Barboursville in unrelated cases since Saturday afternoon.
Olivia Blake Day, 21, was jailed at 12:05 p.m. Sunday. Authorities in Cabell County charged her with kidnapping. Bond was not set.
Vernon Dale Helmick, 42, was jailed at 12:05 p.m. Sunday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with kidnapping. Bond was not set.
Kevin Kent Johnson, 55, was jailed at 11:45 a.m. Sunday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with driving on a suspended or revoked license and possession of a controlled substance. He was also jailed on an active arrant. Bond was not set.
Brian Everette Booth, 33, was jailed at 8:55 p.m. Saturday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with being a fugitive from justice. Bond was not set.
Daniel Taylor Stephens, 23, was jailed at 11:10 p.m. Saturday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with being a fugitive from justice and obstructing. Bond was not set.
Garland David White, 54, was jailed at 12:25 a.m. Sunday. Authorities in Lincoln County charged him with breaking and entering, possession of a controlled substance and destruction of property. Bond was $25,000.
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