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Details unfold in Henry ID fraud case

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Henry County Police have released additional details on how the agency focused on a Decatur man as a suspect in several alleged frauds in the area.

Authorities said Antoine Samuel Arnold, 24, is also linked to frauds in Clayton and Cobb counties. He is charged, in Henry, with forgery in the first degree, and four counts of financial identity fraud, according to Henry County Police Sgt. Mike Ireland.

Ireland said a pair of Henry residents, in October, filed incident reports of identity fraud, and police began to investigate them.

"The investigation led Henry County detectives to Fayetteville, College Park and Lithonia, where they reviewed and collected surveillance of the suspect's vehicle, and images of the suspect making several transactions," Ireland said.

"Through video enhancement, detectives were able to obtain a tag number, and subsequently, identified [Arnold]. The suspect's description was sent to ... Clayton and Roswell, where he was identified as committing similar cases of identity fraud."

The sergeant added that Henry detectives matched surveillance photographs, and vehicle information, to Arnold and applied for warrants in the case.

"A search warrant was conducted at the suspect's residence, where several fraudulent forms of identification and other items were recovered," Ireland said. "The suspect was picked up in Atlanta on a traffic stop, and later transferred to Henry County."

Henry Police believe Arnold defrauded several county residents, by passing counterfeit checks in their names. He is a suspect in frauds allegedly committed Aug. 20 in Stockbridge, Aug. 24 and 25 in McDonough, and Sept. 7, also in McDonough.

The agency secured a warrant for Arnold's arrest Wednesday. The warrant states that he illegally obtained checks drawn on the victims' bank accounts.

"[The checks] would be utilized by the defendant in counterfeiting [them] and accessing the balance in the [accounts]," the warrant states.

Henry County Magistrate Court Judge Robert Godwin bound Arnold's case over to Superior Court. Arnold remained in jail Friday, on $20,000 bond.

The suspect is represented by the Henry County Public Defender's Office. Public Defender Gary Bowman could not be reached for comment on Friday.