3 Brooklyn men nabbed in credit card fraud case

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SCARBOROUGH — Three Brooklyn, N.Y., men were arrested May 21 on charges stemming from an alleged $10,000 shopping spree police say was funded by credit card fraud.

Michael Barnes Jr., 32; Esley Porteous, 27; and Terrell Campbell, 25, were arrested by Scarborough police.

Police say the trio were in possession of 165 fraudulent credit cards and that most of the cards were issued to the same name.

Barnes posted $25,000 bail and was released from Cumberland County Jail Sunday. Porteous and Campbell were arraigned Monday and are each being held on $15,000 bail.

All three face charges of aggravated forgery and theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. Barnes is also charged with operating a vehicle without a license.

South Portland police officers assisted in the arrest.

The alleged forgery and thefts began around 3 a.m. on May 21, said South Portland Detective Sgt. Steve Webster. He said the three men checked into a Scarborough hotel for about three hours before embarking on a shopping spree in the area.

Scarborough police Detective Sgt. Rick Rouse said his department received a call around 11 a.m. from a Bull Moose employee at the Payne Road store. According to Rouse, one of the three suspects bought $700 worth of merchandise from the store before the other two tried to shop with a credit card issued under the same name. The second card was declined.

Rouse said the suspects asked where else they could buy video games and were told to go to Toys ‘R’ Us in South Portland.

South Portland police said they saw the three leaving Toys ‘R’ Us with bags of merchandise and pulled the car over. Scarborough police arrived at the scene and took the men into custody. Police said they could smell marijuana in the car.

Webster said the suspects’ car was impounded and later searched. In addition to the alleged bogus cards, Bull Moose and Toys ‘R’ Us goods, Webster said police found merchandise suspected to be stolen from Babies ‘R’ Us in South Portland and Walmart in Scarborough.

“None of the cards had holograms, which most real cards do,” Rouse said. “Most of them didn’t quite look real.”

Webster said he thought the three men came to Maine for one reason only: to steal. He cited as evidence that the men stayed in the Scarborough hotel for only three hours, and said they didn’t have any clothes or bags packed with them.

“They didn’t seem to have any intention of staying,” Webster said. “They came here to do their business and leave.”

He said the men were mostly interested in video games and consoles.

Rouse said the case has been handed over to the U.S. Secret Service.

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 106 of mmoretto@theforecaster.net. Follow Mario on Twitter: @riocarmine.

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Michael Barnes Jr.

Terrell Campbell

Esley Porteous