On Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at approximately 5:35 PM, deputies with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Interstate Criminal Enforcement unit conducted a traffic stop on a 2020 Dodge Caravan on Interstate 75 near the 15 mile marker. Deputies noticed the driver, Artur Soares was driving while on his phone and failing to maintain his lane of travel. During the course of the stop, the deputies became suspicious while speaking with Artur Soares and obtained his permission to search the vehicle. During this search, the deputies located approximately 50 fraudulent debit/ gift cards in the headliner of the vehicle. The cards were examined and found to contain encoded information from identity theft victims. Also located in the vehicle, was approximately $4,000 in criminal proceeds and a card reader/ writer used for encoding cards.
Soares was placed under arrest, transported to the Lowndes County Jail, and lodged on warrants for the forgery of financial transaction cards and possession of a fraud device. Sheriff’s Office detective and deputies are continuing to investigate and additional charges may be coming.