Pasco deputies make arrests in credit card skimming
NEW PORT RICHEY - Pasco County sheriff's detectives have arrested a man they say is the leader of a credit card skimming operation that bilked thousands of dollars from patrons of the Mugs 'N Jugs restaurant in Port Richey. Brandon James Quillen, 25, of 10712 Ipswich Court, Port Richey, was arrested Wednesday on six counts of criminal use of identification information, five counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and one count each of scheme to defraud, possession of a scanning device and possession of credit card making equipment. Quillen already was being held in the Land O' Lakes Jail on charges of criminal use of personal identification information and fraudulent use of credit cards. Also arrested Wednesday was Kathryn Shana'e Perez, 23.Investigators say Perez, a former waitress at Mugs 'N Jugs, swiped customers' credit cards with a small skimming device, which she then gave to Quillen, who used it to gain victims' personal information and credit card numbers. Perez was arrested in Hillsborough County on a Pasco warrant and faces charges of criminal use of personal identification. She was released from the Hillsborough jail Thursday after posting $50,000 bail. Quillen's ex-girlfriend Rebecca Ann Pixton, 22, was arrested last month in Pasco in the case. She faces charges including criminal use of personal identification information and fraudulent use of credit cards. Detectives said Quillen manufactured "clone" credit cards that his accomplices used to make more than $5,700 in fraudulent purchases, many of them conducted at Radio Shack locations in northwest Pasco. "There are more victims, so that total may change," Detective John Suess said. He said Perez skimmed the cards of customers she believed were difficult or made her work harder. "Maybe she's scared of a hard day's work," Suess said. The Port Richey Police Department, U.S. Secret Service and Hillsborough sheriff's office also are participating in the investigation. Recent customers of Mugs 'N Jugs should review their receipts and call Suess at (800) 854-2862, ext. 7488, if they suspect identity theft or credit card fraud.
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