ST. GEORGE — A traffic stop for speeding led to the arrest of a California couple who were booked into jail on more than 30 felony counts between the two after officers found checks and several credit and gift cards that did not belong to either individual during a search of the car.
The incident started shortly after 10:15 p.m. Monday when an officer stopped a vehicle as it pulled into a gas station on State Street in Hurricane for speeding.
According to the probable cause statements filed in support of the arrests, the car was going 60 mph in a 45 mph speed zone on State Street near 1600 West.
While speaking with the two occupants – later identified as Kylie Gregory-Kinslow, 21, of Pleasant Hill, California, and Deno Cabrera, 24, of Bay Point, California – the officer noticed the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle, which is when the passenger, Cabrera, pulled out “the burned end of a joint and said they had smoked it earlier and then smashed it,” the officer wrote in the statements.
The officer also said he noticed a gray-colored grinder on the floor. The car was searched at that point, and the grinder appeared to have marijuana inside of it.
During a search of the trunk, police allegedly found “a large amount of debit, credit and gift cards in cloth bags,” the officer stated.
The cards were imprinted with various names, none of which belonged to the two occupants in the vehicle, and when the officer opened a large black bag, he found a stack of nine gift and financial cards imprinted with various names as well. He also found a Target gift card that “was created to look like a valid credit card.”
Also in the bag was a printer, and under the lid were two printable labels that appeared to be replicas of actual credit cards with the backing still in tact. The officer also noted that each of the cards was imprinted with the same account number but under two different names.
As the search continued, the officer found more label paper inside of the bag, along with a ledger that appeared to track which cards worked, as well as the spending amount on each card. There was also a reference to a “fake business name,” according to police.
The bag also yielded a book of checks belonging to a couple with a Hurricane address. When the couple was contacted, officers were told they did not know they were missing the checks, nor did they give permission for anyone to use the account and had never heard of either of the suspects.
Officers also found several hotel keys belonging to various hotels in Springdale, none of which was the hotel the suspects claimed they were staying at, along with marijuana and paraphernalia inside of the trunk and in the driver’s purse.
Mail was also located, including a credit card statement, which the suspects told police belonged to their neighbors.
Once the search of the vehicle was completed, the two suspects were interviewed separately. Kinslow told police that Cabrera was her boyfriend and explained that the two had been traveling together for a few weeks and were staying at a hotel in Springdale. She denied having any knowledge of the items found inside of the trunk.
During his interview, Cabrera corroborated Kinslow’s account and added that just before the couple left the Los Angeles area, they both “got caught up in the protest” and both “picked up random items and bags off the street,” the officer recounted in the report.
Cabrera also said that one of the bags picked up in California contained the printer, but he was unable to explain why the couple had the checkbook from a Hurricane couple, nor did he have an answer as to why there were cards belonging to multiple individuals recovered from a single bag.
When questioned further, the suspect told police they picked up random items that “were blowing around on the street” in the area of the protest in Southern California.
Hurricane Police Officer Ken Thompson told St. George News the suspect’s statements were not plausible, given that the checkbook that was allegedly blowing around a Southern California street turned out to belong to a Hurricane couple.
“Their story didn’t match up with several of the items found in the car,” Thompson said. “It made no sense.”
Cabrera went on to tell officers they were going to return the items but said they had not got around to it yet.
Both suspects were arrested and booking into Purgatory Correctional Facility for multiple offenses.
Each faces 16 third-degree felony counts, including 10 counts of acquisition of a finance card without consent, three counts of forgery, one count of possession of a forgery device and two counts of mail theft. The mail theft offenses were enhanced from a misdemeanor to a felony.
They also face one misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia, and Kinslow faces an additional charge of marijuana possession.
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