State Fair ATM launches probe into credit card fraud

A multi-agency operation resulted in the apprehension of an accused financial fraudster Wednesday morning in Sacramento, 12 days after a victim learned a credit card had been compromised while at the California State Fair.

Darius Deangelo Evans, 21, was arrested July 23 at a residence on the 7200 block of Greenhaven Drive. A Cal Expo Police Department release says a search warrant turned up a veritable one-man credit card manufacturing ring, with computer equipment, electronic devices and “numerous credit cards in various stages of creation.”

Officers also seized several thousand dollars in cash and a loaded handgun, the release states.

Authorities believe Evans used stolen credit card information to buy electronic equipment, clothes, shoes and jewelry.

The 21-year-old has no criminal history in Sacramento Superior Court, according to online records. The San Francisco Police Department did issue a warrant for his arrest due to large department store purchases they believe Evans made using stolen account information.

Officers from multiple agencies took part in the apprehension of Evans, including those from the Sacramento Police Department’s SWAT team.

Cal Expo Police Department spokeswoman Lara N. Popyack said the existence of an outside-county warrant, as well as the belief that Evans was “known to have firearms,” merited the use of a SWAT team. “That was enough,” she said. “They knew going into it that he had handguns.”

Evans is also a large man—6-feet and 210 pounds, according to jail booking information. Among the seven charges officers arrested him on, one is for the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, which could be related to the loaded handgun. He was scheduled for his first court appearance Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante referred inquiries about her agency’s SWAT involvement to Cal Expo police, but spoke generally of how and when the tactical unit is deployed.

Asked if there was formal criteria for deploying the SWAT team, Gigante said evaluations are made on a case-by-case basis. The team’s utilization can hinge on a suspect’s criminal history or the history of others believed to be inside the dwelling, as well as whether there are potential hostages inside.

But she also said the team can be put in play any time an arrest warrant is served, as long as it’s available. “That’s what they train for,” she said. “If we have the resources and the ability to use special resources [SWAT], we use them.”

The fairgoer became aware of unauthorized credit card activity while visiting an ATM located on the fairgrounds at Cal Expo on July 11, Popyack said, but the crime itself didn’t take place on Cal Expo property.

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