NEW GLOUCESTER — Three out-of-state men have been arrested for what police describe as an elaborate credit card cloning scheme.

Officials at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said they began investigating the matter when several residents of New Gloucester and Gray reported that fraudulent charges had been made on their credit cards at local businesses.

Arrested were Yaisder Herrera Gargallo, 23, of Miami; Juan Carlos Febles, 51, of Opa-Locka, Fla., and Jose Castillo Febles, 29, of Richmond Hill, N.Y.

Jose and Juan Febles were charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. Gargallo was charged with aggravated forgery, misuse of identification and theft by deception.

Investigators said after receiving complaints about the fraud, they were able to obtain video surveillance footage of the suspects making purchases with stolen credit card information. The footage also captured an image of the suspects’ vehicle, police said.

According to a Sheriff’s Office news release: “This particular activity involved a complicated system of credit card cloning. Essentially, cloning can occur when a victim’s banking information is stolen and placed onto a different credit card. In other words, the victim may still possess his/her credit card; however, the “banking information” found on the magnetic stripe of that card has been stolen and transferred to a card possessed by a criminal.”


The case is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, as the Sheriff’s Office was investigating the case, a Portland police detective reported at least one similar credit card case involving the same vehicle captured in the surveillance footage.

During the Portland investigation, police were able to identify the vehicle’s registration number and discovered it to be a Jeep Liberty rental car from the Boston area.

On Saturday, June 18, just after midnight, Sheriff’s Deputy Todd McGee spotted the suspect’s vehicle on Route 123 in Brunswick, according to the news release. McGee, with assistance from Brunswick police, stopped the vehicle and immediately recognized one of the occupants, Gargallo, as being one of the suspects captured in the surveillance video obtained earlier that week.

A search of the vehicle turned several thousand dollars in goods recently purchased using cloned credit cards, police said.

The remaining occupants of the Jeep, Jose and Juan Febles, were also arrested for their involvement in this case. All three suspects were taken to Cumberland County Jail. Gargallo has since posted bail while the remaining suspects remained behind bars on Friday.

Police said a subsequent search was executed on the Jeep. Additional items found included electronics, jewelry, clothing (all in unopened boxes and with tags), along with dozens of cloned credit cards. Also seized were two credit card skimming devices, police said.

Investigators said the extent of the suspects’ criminal activity in Maine is not yet fully known.

“There are other suspects involved in this case and it is believe that this particular group has been operating in Maine for nearly a week prior to their arrests,” according to the news release. “The CCSO is working with local law enforcement agencies, banking officials, and federal authorities.”

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