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Police investigate Tucson-based international ID theft, fraud ring

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson Police have confirmed that they are investigating a major identity theft and fraud ring with hundreds of potential victims and international ties.

According to police the crimes involve identity theft and identity fraud.

Investigators discovered more than a thousand stolen credit card accounts and hundreds of potential victims,some from right here in Southern Arizona.

This bust stems from an arrest police made months ago where a man was buying items at the Tucson Mall with a fraudulent credit card.  He told police how he and others were getting personal information from hackers in Russia and making fraudulent credit cards.

Lt. Decio Hopffer, with TPD's Property Crimes Division says, "With the arrests that we've made we have stopped a group of people that would undoubtedly continue to victimize people across the country."

Over the last two days, police have arrested five people in connection to this huge identity and fraud ring.  Police showed us everything they seized, merchandise, fraudulent credit cards and the equipment used to make them.


Tucson News Now went to the storage unit in Marana where authorities found some of the merchandise bought with these fraudulent credit cards.  Sgt.. Rick Radinsky, with TPD's Financial Crimes Unit says, "They'll purchase these items whether they have a specific shopping list of what they want. They're items that are easy to sell, whether it's on eBay, Craigslist."

Tucson Police, Secret Service, the Postal Service Inspector, Marana and South Tucson Police  are all working on this investigation.  Many of these agencies are part of Tucson's Financial Crime Task Force, trying to combat the growing problem of credit card fraud.

Sgt. Radinsky says "The scope of the problem is so huge that this is probably a drop in the bucket to what's out there, but it's a significant ring."  Federal and local law enforcement agencies say the ring has a vast reach with data being sold overseas to countries like Russia, but the effect falls on you and I.


David Birch, US Postal Inspector adds, "It's not only the local retailers, the banks, but it's the public in general that suffers. All the prices go up as the stores take loss. So they pass it along to the public."

Authorities estimate tens of thousands of dollars in losses as they continue to follow up on more leads in this ongoing investigation.

Authorities booked six suspects into the Pima County Jail.

Said Camacho, 18, was charged with two counts of forgery.

22-year old Kevin Hernandez, 25-year-old Marco Camacho-Estrella, 23-year-old Sergio Camacho-Estrella,  and 23-year-old Efrain Rascon each face one count of fraud schemes and artifices, one count of possession of a scanning device or encoder and one count of forgery.

Esteban Hernandez, 19, was charged with two counts of forgery, one count of fraud schemes and artifices and one count of possession of marijuana on school grounds.

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