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“Skimming” defendant receives prison sentence

A skimmer device like this one was used in Murfreesboro and Nashville to steal debit and credit card information

One of two Cubans caught skimming credit card information from gasoline pumps here last year pleaded guilty during a busy session of criminal court Jan. 10. The other Cuban missed his court appearance, and his attorney says he has been unable to connect with the man.

The guilty plea was by Jorge Cobas Garces, 35, Hispanic male, Houston, Texas. He was sentenced to six years in the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) with three years suspended. Restitution will be a part of his sentence. He is currently awaiting trial in Hempstead County where he and his cohort, Frank Tejada Riveron, were caught apparently committing the same crime by state and county police who had been alerted to their flight from the Road Mart store in Nashville.

Garces and Riveron, 25, Hispanic male, Houston, were caught on store video camera tinkering with gas pumps. Earlier in the year, thieves with a similar motif, stole credit card information in Murfreesboro and Nashville. They were not caught.

The second Cuban, Riveron, may have fled to Cuba, courthouse sources said.

They were both represented by Justin Hurst who told Judge Charles Yeargan that he had received no response from Riveron. Hurst asked to be relieved as Riveron’s counsel. The bondsman has been put on notice to produce Riveron or forfeit the bond.

Garces’s plea was one of six guilty pleas taken by Judge Yeargan.

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