A federal jury in Pittsburgh found two New York men guilty of illegally using credit cards to purchase nearly $50,000 in gift cards and electronic merchandise at Giant Eagle and Walmart stores from Latrobe to Scott.
The jury deliberated about an hour before delivering guilty verdicts Sept. 18 against Brent Kevin Hercules Antoine, 35, of Rosedale, and Jean A. Seraphin, 31, of Brooklyn, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton.
According to case records, a Walmart employee called 911 on March 3, 2010, to report that two men had tried to purchase gift cards with credit cards that had been rejected and that the name on the identification provided did not match the name on the credit card provided.
The caller also gave a description of the men's clothing and a vehicle with a Florida plate.
Scott Sgt. Stephen Fury responded to the Walmart parking lot at 10:06 p.m., as the vehicle was leaving, and stopped the described minivan.
Soon after his arrival, Sgt. Fury was backed up by Scott Officers Douglas Burek, Alan Ballo and Mark Samangy, according to case records.
Judge Cohill scheduled sentencing for January. Each could receive up to 21 years in prison, a fine of $1.25 million or both.
Pending sentencing, both defendants remain on bond. The two other men in the van, Richard G. Foster of Pensacola, Fla., and Ramar J. Gardiner of New York, were sentenced earlier this year for their roles in the spree.
Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: email@example.com.