County prosecutors have filed a 32-count indictment against eight people accused of conducting a fraudulent credit card ring, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced Friday. The ring was broken up May 22 after a two-month investigation by the Mesa Police Department.
Authorities said they believe Dariusz Adam Mitrega, 47, of Gilbert, was the ringleader of the scam.
Also named as defendants were: Pietro Paolo Moraldo, 35; John Frederick Archer, 37; Jacqueline Cooper, 48; Jason Mark Germaine, 28; Brian Michael Vergini, 38; Jill Megan Workman, 36; and Marvin Patton Jr., 25.
The charges include fraudulent schemes, taking the identity of another person, forgery, drug possession, weapons misconduct and drug paraphernalia possession.
Authorities say the crew would take credit card information from victims and remagnetize their own cards with the stolen numbers. They would then make purchases at stores such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens and Safeway, then trade the merchandise for cash or drugs.
Prison time for the charges can be up to 10 years per defendant.