Two arrested on suspicion of having a mobile forgery lab

Two people were arrested Friday after deputies discovered an alleged mobile forgery lab that was being used to make fake credit cards and driver’s licenses.

Tony Russo, 46, and Molly Martin, 26, were arrested on forgery charges after deputies initiated a traffic stop on their vehicle near Highway 50 and Mercury Street Friday night. According to the arrested report, deputies were initiating a traffic stop of a different vehicle at 10:40 p.m., when Russo’s BMW passed the stop, allegedly failing to slow down or move to the left lane away from the stop.

While conducting the stop on Russo’s vehicle, he told officers that he didn’t have his driver’s license, registration or insurance information with him. Upon inventory of Russo’s person, deputies discovered a California driver’s license inside his wallet with a different name. Russo told deputies that the ID was a novelty item, however upon a records check, it was discovered the fake name was connected to a real person who had filed for identity theft in California.

Inside the vehicle, deputies also discovered a computer that was attached to a card swipe machine and black credit card stock with no color imprint other than the magnetic strip.

Martin, the passenger in the vehicle, told deputies that Russo was making fictitious credit cards in the vehicle with the computer and card swipe machine. She told deputies that Russo buys credit card accounts online and creates the credit cards in the vehicle. Martin was also found with a fake California ID.

Russo was charged with felony possession of a financial forgery lab, felony using a scanning device to defraud, felony possession of a scanning device, felony obtain/possess of credit card without consent, felony forger of a credit card, felony identity theft, felony fraud of credit and debit cards, felony possession of a false identification, felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, non-resident suspended driver’s license, no proof of insurance, driver disregarding emergency vehicle lights. Bail was set at $174,640.

Martin was charged with felony possession of a financial forgery lab and conspiracy fraud of a credit/debit card. Bail was set at $45,000.


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