2 more arrested in Sandy ATM ‘jackpotting’ case

FBI agents, in conjunction the U.S. Secret Service and Utah law enforcement, arrest four suspected ATM thieves at the Deseret First Credit Union in Sandy, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Exclusive Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

March 6, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Two more suspects have been arrested in connection with the Feb. 25 “jackpotting” robbery of an ATM in Sandy, Utah.

Carlos Eduardo Goncalves Duran, 32, and Jean Carlos Dumont Gonzalez, 36, were taken into custody over the weekend by FBI agents.

The men, both Venezuelan nationals, were arrested at the Miami airport.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Duran and Gonzalez are two of  seven men who met at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 25.

The purpose of the meeting, according to a witness, was to plan the “jackpotting” of ATMs in the Salt Lake area.

Investigators say jackpotting requires perpetrators to physically break into the ATMs, then install malware that lets them empty the cash machines without triggering accounting or security measures.

Authorities were aware of the scheme as early as Feb. 20, when airline tickets to Salt Lake City were purchased from the same IP address and email account.

On Feb. 25, the men flew from Miami into Salt Lake City International, where investigators saw that the suspects were traveling in multiple rental vehicles.

Later that day, agents observed all of the men, including Duran and Gonzalez, meeting at the park, then getting into at least five different vehicles and driving to a Zions Bank ATM and a Mountain America Credit Union ATM in the Cottonwood Heights area.

Along the way, the charging document states, the suspects “engaged in multiple maneuvers that appeared calculated to counter surveillance, such as exiting a highway, conducting u-turns and resuming the original route.”

Investigators say the suspects were in the process of breaching the Zions Bank ATM when they were surprised by a bank customer who pulled into the parking lot. The suspect vehicles drove off and headed in the direction of 9400 South.

At about 10:30 p.m., the same vehicle seen at Zions Bank was spotted at the Deseret First Credit Union, at 9325 Village Shop Drive in Sandy.

Court documents say that as agents approached car, “they found the ATM was displaying a screen that indicated the software system of the ATM had been breached. Agents approached the suspect vehicle and found the ATM dispensing cash, and arrested the individual in the car, and found electronic equipment and a bag full of cash.”

Four suspects were taken into custody: Pedro Rivero Velazquez, 38, Joao Silva Robertson, 28, Josshua Perez Rivas, 38, Starlin Garcia Caraballo, 39.

Of the vehicles that were located near the scene, one was empty. The occupants of that vehicle, a Chevy Equinox, had parked in a lot adjacent to a Walmart and agents had watched them go into the store, the document states.

When agents swooped in on the suspects at the ATM and in the other vehicles, the suspects were engaged in a conference call on their cellphones.

Authorities believe the two who were in Walmart may have been alerted by phone or by the flashing lights of the police cars across the street. They ran out of the store through a side door for shopping carts and were able to disappear into the neighborhood, the document says.

Their jackets, gloves and other outwear were found in the Equinox, and matched the clothing of the men seen in the park earlier that day.

Duran’s passport also was found in the pocket of one of the jackets.

Agents also found “a bag of cash totaling approximately $12,000 in $20 bills,” as well as latex gloves and rubber bands.

The charging document says Gonzalez’s check book was found in one of the other vehicles, and he was identified by a witness as one of the co-conspirators.

Duran and Gonzalez appeared in federal court in Miami on Monday and will likely be transported back to Utah to face charges.


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