Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies received a tip from staff at the Microtel located at 1770 SW 134th St. in Ocala about a number of possible stolen credit cards and marijuana being stored in one of their rooms.
On Friday, detectives from the MCSO Crime Suppression Unit responded and executed a search warrant of the room and a vehicle, locating more than 70 credit cards and marijuana. They also located a plastic embossing machine and a re-encoder, which detectives believe were used to turn gift cards into credit cards. While detectives were on scene, two men attempted to enter the room and were apprehended. These two individuals are tentatively being identified as Nicholas Peters and Luis Rivera. The two suspects were in possession of numerous gift cards totaling $1,740, which detectives believe were purchased using fraudulent credit cards created in the suspects’ hotel room. Both suspects were in possession of fraudulent credit cards at the time of arrest as well.
These individuals have not cooperated with investigators and gave several false names. They have been booked into the Marion County Jail as John Does. MCSO is currently running their information through multiple databases, state and nationwide. Detectives will be following up on this investigation to determine the extent of their criminal activities and so we try to identify other possible victims throughout the state. The number of victims is undetermined at this point. Because of their continued efforts to conceal their identities from detectives and the suspects not being from this area, both defendants have no bond.
Sheriff Chris Blair and his staff are taking proactive measures during this investigation to identify any possible victims. If you recognize these men or think you may be one of their victims, contact the Marion County Crime Stoppers at 352-368-STOP.