ISSAC WEAH and MAMADOU ADBA BA
Two African nationals was each the subject of 40-count indictments handed up this week by a Logan County grand jury.
Isaac Weah, 23, and Mamadou Abda Ba, 25, both previously of Columbus, have been charged with 39 counts of identity fraud, and a single count of illegal use of supplemental nutrition benefits, each fifth-degree felonies.
One of the suspects entered the Russells Point Village Pantry, 209 Orchard Island Road, Russells Point, and attempted to buy a carton of cigarettes, only to have the transaction fail five times with five different gift cards.
A manager at the store asked the suspect if he had any other means to pay for the cigarettes, and the suspect reportedly became nervous and left.
The manager provided law enforcement with an accurate description of the vehicle and license plate number, which led to the traffic stop and arrests.
Russells Point police, along with deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and troopers of the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted in stopping the duo. A search of the car turned up 40 prepaid cards in plain view and under the dashboard.
An agent from the Columbus office of the U.S. Secret Service traveled to Russells Point and examined the cards, finding all but four had been re-encoded with stolen account information.
When accepting a gift card, authorities recommend store clerks, managers and owners look for:
• customers who come in with a stack of gift cards;
• that the last four numbers on the receipt match the last four numbers on the card, especially when multiple cards come up declined; and
• a sticker that covers the front card number.
Other defendants indicted this week by the Logan County grand jury include:
• Sherry Douglas, 42, of 529 E. Brown Ave.: complicity to possession of drugs, a second-degree felony; possession of drugs, obstructing justice and tampering with evidence, third-degree felonies;
• Brent Brown, 43, of 529 E. Brown Ave.: possession of drugs, a second-degree felony; trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony and cash and vehicle forfeitures;
• Randy Cole, 40, of 214 Pratt St., Apt. 2: possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony;
• Scot Foreman, 24, of 337 S. Miami St., Quincy: trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony;
• Jason Gauntt, 34, of 308 S. Detroit St.: two counts of theft, a first-degree felony;
• Kelly Porter, 29, at large: six counts of deception to obtain a dangerous drug, fifth-degree felonies;
• David Botner, 30, of 120 W. High Ave.: breaking and entering and theft, both fifth-degree felonies;
• Anthony Lowery, 31, of Kenton: illegal conveyance of drugs in a detention facility, a third-degree felony, and possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony;
• Daniel Johnson, 33, of 1000 Garfield, Lot 35: two counts of aggravated arson, first-degree felonies;
• Joey Hines, 30, of 215 S, Springhill St.: possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and possession of drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor;
• Nathan Hinkle, 30, 117 N. Elm St.: breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony, theft, a first-degree misdemeanor and criminal damaging, a second-degree misdemeanor;
• Donald Taulbee, 54, of 117 Orchard Ave.: improperly furnishing a firearm to a minor, a fifth-degree felony;
• Dusten Dye, 30, of Jackson Center: possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony;
• James McKee, 41, of Kenton: operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, a third-degree felony;
• Troy Good, 29, of 53223 W. State Route 273, Belle Center: safecracking, a fourth-degree felony, and breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony;
• Jennifer Smith, 32, of New Carlisle: nonsupport of dependents, a fifth-degree felony;
• Jarrod Taylor, 27, of 4000 Alpine Parkway, Lot M4, Zanesfield: non-support of dependents, a fifth-degree felony;
• Brent Vermillion, 42, of 1519 County Road 10: improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony; and