Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
A Clayton County sheriff’s investigator searches a Mercedes that apparently belongs to the house’s former owner. A man living in the home has been charged with financial transaction card fraud but the former owner of the house, which is reportedly in foreclosure, has not been charged.
FAYETTEVILLE — A Mawli native charged with stealing credit card information faces deportation as Clayton County sheriff's investigators sort out a melange of evidence seized Tuesday from his house.
Jean Sissoke, 40, is being held in the Clayton County Jail following his arrest Friday on charges of obstruction of an officer and financial transaction card fraud. Sheriff's Investigator David Ward said Sissoke is wanted in Fulton County for failure to appear and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a hold on him for possible deportation.
Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said the arrest could be the tip of the iceberg to a larger credit card counterfeit ring.
"This is most certainly the tip of the iceberg for something bigger," he said. "I think the immigration and U.S. Secret Service are going to find out that this just scratches the surface. There are a lot of unanswered questions and the cooperation among the agencies will lead to the answers."
Ward said Sissoke was arrested Friday after using the debit card number of a West Virginia state trooper to buy multiple gift cards from a Riverdale Kroger.
"We have no idea how Sissoke got his card information," said Ward. "The Kroger manager noticed that the suspect came into the store four times that day to buy gift cards using other debit cards so there appears to be more victims."
Sissoke attracted attention inside the store because he stalled the self checkout lane buying dozens of Visa gift cards, said Ward.
After his arrest, investigators got a search warrant for the Fayetteville home Sissoke claimed to be sharing with his mother, who has not been charged. Searching the house Tuesday, Ward and other investigators seized computers, a safe containing cash, multiple passports with multiple A numbers and multiple entries, a credit card reader and other documents.
It will take a while to sort through, he said.
"The Secret Service will take the computers and examine them for evidence," said Ward.
Kimbrough said the case involves complex issues.
"We live in a legitimate global economy but also an illegitimate global economy that people use as the basis to commit complex financial crimes," he said. "With the cooperation of the City of Riverdale working with us and the federal government, we can put the pieces together to crack these crimes. The Internet is a powerful tool for good and evil."
The West Virginia state trooper told police he has not visited Georgia and has no idea how his number allegedly came into Sissoke's possession. A relative of Sissoke's reportedly works for a company with access to credit card information but Ward said that has not been confirmed. No one else has been charged in connection with Sissoke's case.
Another piece of the investigation involves the Fayetteville house in unincorporated Clayton County where Sissoke was living with his mother. Ward said his research shows the house is in foreclosure but investigators found utility bills still in the previous owner's name during the raid. The previous owner's Mercedes with a Georgia educator tag was also parked in the driveway but no one was home during the execution of the search warrant.
Ward said the whereabouts of the previous owner is unknown.