While not mentioned in the affidavit, which was returned Monday, the men also face similar charges in Wake County.
In all the cases mentioned in the affidavit, the devices were removed by law enforcement with assistance from an ATM technician, the document says. Video footage of Johan Castillo and Hender Aguilar were retained by State Employees’ Credit Union in all the cases referred to in the warrant.
A scanning device and pinhole camera was installed in each of the machines, starting in Weldon on November 10 of last year, the search warrant filed by Weldon police Lieutenant Chris Davis shows.
The tampering in Weldon occurred at the ATM on Julian R. Allsbrook Highway.
On November 15 one was installed at the SECU ATM in Enfield; on December 1 one was installed at an SECU machine in Fayetteville and on December 3 one was installed at an SECU machine in Laurinburg.
In the warrant, which was executed last week for the search of a 2016 Toyota the men were driving, Davis notes, “Both defendants were found to have no ties to the Weldon area or the state of North Carolina. It was determined both defendants were from Venezuela and entered the country with six-month temporary visas.”
The basis of the search warrant, Davis wrote, was it is known defendants in similar cases will use vehicles to travel from one operation to another while counterfeiting financial transaction cards. “Typically these vehicles will contain items and electronics of evidentiary value that are used to encode, duplicate, read and modify financial transaction cards for criminal purposes.”
They will also typically have electronic devices used for obtaining information from victims.
Found and seized from the vehicle were the following items:
A black Husky toolbox with supplies inside
Electronic charging cord
Lenovo laptop with charging cord
White electronic charging cord
Receipt from Shell Oil Products from Miami
Two ball caps
A FedEx box with Pender’s name
Black Samsung cell phone
Walmart gift card
A black piece of metal
Two United States $1 bills
An electronic charging cord
A small, black piece of metal
One-hundred-fifty United $20 bills totaling $3,000
A piece of paper with names listed
A white iPhone
A black Samsung cell phone
A tube of Krazy Glue still in wrapper
A pair of pliers with gray handle
A black piece of metal
A piece of paper with Bank of America information
A Sandisk mini SD card adapter
Davis recounts in the affidavit the events which occurred on February 15 leading to the arrests of the two men.
“The defendants were arrested pursuant to a traffic stop where each defendant was identified by pictures from SECU that were taken while the defendants were installing the financial card scanning device along with a pinhole camera on (an) SECU ATM in Weldon earlier on this date.”
Wrote Davis: “The traffic stop was initiated pursuant to a complaint by a concerned citizen who was able to provide a description of the vehicle, which led to an investigation by (an) SECU investigator which discovered the defendants putting the scanning device and pinhole camera on the ATM …”
Castillo and Aguilar not only face charges in Weldon, but Enfield and Wake County.
The men are not currently listed on the court docket in Scotland or Cumberland counties for the Laurinburg and Fayetteville crimes.
They have a district court date in Halifax County Wednesday. Castillo has a March 19 court date in Wake County while Aguilar has a March 14 court date there. In Wake County the men face three counts each of felony card theft with scanning device.
Federal indictments are possible, Davis said this afternoon.