A Miami man is being accused of buying large amounts of gas he bought with fake credit cards and transporting the fuel in a truck in an organized scheme, authorities said.
Andres Pedraya-Caballero, 41, appeared in bond court Wednesday and faces charges of trafficking counterfeit credit cards, unlawful use of a scanning device, using equipment to make credit cards in an organized scheme to defraud, possessing a vehicle with an illegal tank, according to Miami-Dade court records.
"What this individual did in this truck is he put a toolbox over the gas tank, which was fabricated and done so they could store the gas here and then go out into the public and sell it,” said Florida Highway Patrol trooper Joe Sanchez.
Caballero was arrested Tuesday in Miami, where detectives say he was at the wheel, lugging 119 gallons of gas, getting ready to sell it at half price.
Investigators say it's a multi-step scheme where criminals install a device at the pump to scan credit cards, stealing the card's information, then they encode the info on blank cards used to buy the gas.
"Each of these re-encoded credit cards represents a victim whose identity was stolen, who’s now going through the inconvenience and hardship associated with having your credit card stolen,” a prosecutor said in bond court.
Caballero is one of 15 people arrested for this kind of crime in recent months, according to the FHP.
"There's a sting out there, we've made about 15 arrests and we've seized all the trucks,” Sanchez said. “Some of the individuals that we've talked to they say it's become a profitable business for them. They're working 24/7."
Caballero remains booked in Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on $30,000 bond, according to jail records. Attorney information was not immediately available.