Three New York City residents are sitting in the Montgomery County jail and facing 115 felony charges each after police say they found 115 bogus credit cards in their vehicle.
According to state police, Kirschel Butler, 26, Christopher Grey, 23, and Keliesha McCoy, 23, were speeding west on the Thruway in a black Chrysler 300 late Wednesday morning when a trooper pulled them over.
The trooper said he could smell burnt marijuana as he approached the vehicle, according to police. When the three occupants were interviewed and gave conflicting stories about who they were and where they were going, police said, the trooper thought something was amiss.
He called for additional officers, police said, and they searched the vehicle. Inside, police said, troopers found Lipton Iced Tea and Kool-Aid drink powder containers that didn’t feel right. Upon investigation, police said, they turned out to have hidden compartments inside that were packed with the fraudulent credit cards.
“They look homemade,” said Trooper Jason Jones, a state police spokesman, pointing out someone had taken the time to install threaded, twist-off false bottoms in the drink containers.
Despite the smell, no marijuana was found, however.
All three were arrested and each charged with 115 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a class D felony.
“I’ve been with the state police for 10 years now,” Jones said. “I’ve never seen anyone charged with so many felonies. It has to be a record.”
He said each occupant was initially judged to be in possession of all 115 cards and charged with one count per card. As the investigation progresses into why the group was transporting 115 cards out of New York City and who actually owned them, those charges could change.
Jones couldn’t say Thursday if the fraudulent cards were attached to stolen identities or bank accounts. Even if they were just blank cards, he said, possessing unofficial cards is a crime.
Butler, Grey and McCoy were arraigned in Glen Town Court and sent to the county jail.