A Pinal County sheriff's deputy arrested two men July 10 who are suspected to be part of a group based in Mexico that uses fraudulent means to purchase gift cards and other items from retail stores in the U.S., according to the sheriff's office.
Hector Sandoval, 23, and Ruben Sanchez-Bustamante, 27, both from Tucson, were arrested after a traffic stop in which they provided the deputy conflicting information.
A search of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler they were in produced 12 Home Depot gift cards valued at $250 each, fake Pennsylvania driver's licenses and two fake credit cards, according to a sheriff's office news release.
The fake IDs sported pictures of both suspects, each with different identities.
Deputies said the Mexican organization uses fake coded credit cards and false identifications to purchase the gift cards and other items. The items are then trafficked into Mexico and sold.
Both suspects were booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on suspicion of identity theft, possession of stolen property, trafficking in stolen property and fraudulent schemes.
The sheriff's office said Sandoval was arrested two months ago in California for using a fraudulent credit card during purchases worth thousands of dollars.
Each suspect was being held on $30,000 bond, and the Wrangler, gift cards and cash were seized.
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