Local News

May 24, 2014

2 arrested in Tunnel Hill for financial fraud

— From Staff Reports

Two people are under arrest after a traffic stop on Interstate 75 uncovered numerous Wal-Mart debits cards with stolen credit card information imprinted on them.

 Melvin Gatlin, 28, of 3628 Winriver Court, Tucker, was charged Friday by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office with possession of financial transaction card forgery devices and forgery of a financial transaction card. Tetrice Palmer, 19, 1780 Pine Dell Drive, Atlanta, was charged with possession of financial transaction card forgery devices, forgery of a financial transaction card, crossing the guard line with drugs without consent and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Lt. Scott Reneau of the Tunnel Hill Police Department made the  stop Friday around 1 p.m. at mile marker 341 for a traffic violation, according to a news release from the police department. Sensing the two were involved in criminal activity, the department’s drug-sniffing dog Vince was brought to the scene and he gave “a positive alert” to the presence of illicit drugs.

After summoning detectives with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department for assistance, a search of the couple’s white Chevrolet Cruze uncovered the debit cards along with a magnetic strip reader/writer, a computer, several gift cards and electronic items that had been bought at the Wal-Mart on Shugart Road in Dalton.

One stolen card information was used to buy $1,000 worth of items from the store.

At least 11 of the Wal-Mart debit cards had been imprinted with stolen credit card information. Each is a felony count. Both subjects were taken to the Whitfield County jail.

The subjects were believed to be on their way to Wal-Marts in the Chattanooga area to buy more items with the stolen card information, according to the release.

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