McAllen police arrest two suspects linked to Target data breach


POSTED: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 7:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 4:28pm


McAllen Police Investigators with the assistance of Field Agents of the Secret Service McAllen Office determined the cards seized from Daniel Dominguez Guardiola and Mary Carmen Vaquera Garcia on Sunday January 19, 2014 are fraudulent.

These fraudulent cards included accounts from the following institutions:
Target National Bank,
Ohio University Credit Union, Inc
Bank of America, National Association
Citibank, N.A.
USAA Federal Savings Bank
International Bank of Commerce
Lone Star National Bank
Frost Bank

A week's worth of investigating brought McAllen police to arrest two Mexican nationals wanted in connection to the Target data breach.

Mary Carmen Vaquera, 27, and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez. 28, are both listed as residents of Monterrey, Mexico.  Authorities arrested the pair on Sunday morning at the Anzalduas International Bridge as they were attempting to cross into the U.S.

During the arrest, police seized 96 fraudulent credit cards tied to accounts that were compromised due to the nationwide Target data breach.

"Once we had the fraudulent reports given to us and we identified the accounts, we were able to work with secret service and identify that that information is part of the data set that was breached in the Target scenario back in late last year," explained Chief Victor Rodriguez of the McAllen Police Department.

McAllen officials reportedly worked with Secret Service as well as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) leading up to the arrest of Dominguez and Vaquera.  The first report of fraudulent activity was discovered on Sunday, January 12, thus commencing the investigation into the two suspects.

Investigators have determined that all of the accounts that were used in the fraudulent credit card scam are localized to the South Texas region.  Authorities stress individuals in this area to be on constant watch for their account activity.

"We think that as time goes, this becomes more urgent because every day that goes by, every piece of attention that's focused on the Target breach is devaluating because people are taking the corrective steps," Chief Rodriguez said.

Police are currently looking into other suspects that may be involved in the fraudulent credit card activity and believe the damage extends well beyond the U.S. and Mexico.

"We have reason to believe that they have made overseas telecommunications for some of the data," explained Chief Rodriguez.  "So, this is by no means confined to these two people."

Right now, the two suspects are in the custody of McAllen police but will likely be moved under federal jurisdiction.

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