FORT MYERS-- On January 4, 2011, at approximately 11:30 am, a detective assigned to the Lee County Sheriff's Office Highway Interdiction Unit was patrolling I-75 in Fort Myers near Mile Marker 136. The detective conducted a traffic stop on a 2000 Jeep Cherokee for illegal window tint and a registration violation. The vehicle had three occupants. Upon making contact with the driver the detective noticed that all three occupants were extremely nervous and remained so throughout the stop. Other indicators of criminal activity were observed by the detective during the traffic stop including the odor of marijuana, inconsistent travel plans and prior criminal history of the passenger for credit card cloning. The operator’s driver’s license was also suspended two times.
A search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of 5 cloned credit cards and 5 Fraudulent Florida Driver licenses that had photographs of the suspects on them. The driver license numbers were authentic and it was determined through investigation that the suspects had assumed the identity of the victims on the driver license. The cloned credit cards also had the photographs of the suspects on them as part of the security feature on the front of the card. Four small baggies of marijuana were also recovered from the vehicle.
Due to the nature of the incident the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit responded to the scene and will assume the investigation.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Maria Anzalone (DOB 08/21/64), Michel Santana (DOB 11/08/79) and Raydel Castaneda (DOB 01/05/71) were arrested and charged as follows:
5 Counts of possession of counterfeit / cloned credit cards
5 Counts of possession of fraudulent driver’s licenses
5 Counts of possession of ID without consent of another
Santana was also charged with:
1 Count of possession of marijuana under 20 grams
1 Count of possession of a suspended driver’s license
Castaneda was also charged with:
1 Count of Driving while suspended