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Thomson police help in fraud case

Thomson police aided in a multicounty investigation of credit card fraud and made arrests in Thomson last month.

Police Chief Joseph D. Nelson said Julie Hobbs of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported that police had received a call from Glascock County deputies who had been near the Warren County line attempting to execute arrest warrants on Tiquela Neshel Murray, 31, of Mitchell, Ga., for first-degree forgery and financial transaction card fraud. The warrants originated in Washington County. A check with the Sandersville Police Department yielded Murray's description, Nelson said. A further check with Hobbs gave Thomson police a description of vehicles being investigated, including a white Volkswagen Jetta with Fulton County license plates and a black Dodge pickup with Warren County plates.

"We were also told there would be other individuals that also might possess fraudulent Walmart gift and credit cards," Nelson said.

On April 19 surveillance was set up at the Thomson Walmart store by Capt. Jamie Bridges, Sgt. Willie Williams and officer Rod Rodriguez. They saw vehicles matching the descriptions at Murphy USA in the Walmart parking lot, Nelson said, "At which point I gave the command to move in."

Discussion with vehicle occupants yielded contradictory information about a driver's identity, Nelson said. The GBI arrived, Nelson said. Search warrants were obtained and police recovered Walmart gift cards, Walmart credit cards, U.S. currency, and other evidence such as receipts, Nelson said.

Murray was charged with financial card fraud. Also arrested on investigative hold were: David Marshal Hayden, 63, of Mitchell; Victor Carter, 49, of Atlanta; Nayesha Leishell Stokes, 18, of Mitchell; and a 15-year-old female. The juvenile was released to the custody of family members. The adults were taken to the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center on investigative hold. Nelson said other charges were possible.

He said the credit card fraud case might be the largest in Thomson's history.

Nelson said the GBI is handling the continuing investigation.

Web posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011

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