Fairfield police charge man with fraud, hold him for ICE
Updated 12:38 pm, Thursday, March 9, 2017
FAIRFIELD — An Ohio man, allegedly involved in a scheme to get a cash advance using a fraudulent credit card, was held by police overnight March 2 after they learned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had issued a hold for him.
The man, Bah Dembo, 57, was held on a $5,000 bond that he was unable to post, and was brought to state Superior Court in Bridgeport the next day. According to the judicial website, Dembo is still in custody, now held on a $10,000 bond. The case is awaiting a plea, and the next court date is March 30.
Dembo was charged with conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny.
With a national spotlight on ICE deportations, Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said the individual in this case had prior felony arrests, “so we were working in conjunction with our obligation to assist in the process. At the same time, we have to recognize there may be people in our community that are concerned about their immigration status, that may be fearful and victims of crime or may need help.”
The police, MacNamara said, are there to help, adding that he doesn’t believe undocumented immigrants who do not have prior arrests “would necessarily cause us to start an ICE deportation process.”
MacNamara said his officers are not out looking for undocumented immigrants. “Each issue has to be looked at individually,” he said. “This is the fine line; we’re here to help people regardless of their immigration status.”
The alleged crime
Police said Dembo drove Jay Mobley, 45, a New York City man, to three different Citibank locations — in Stamford, Westport and Fairfield. At each of the bank branches, police said, Mobley tried to use a fraudulent credit card to get a $1,000 cash advance.
Employees at the Fairfield branch had been notified of the prior attempts and called police when Mobley tried to do the same thing here. When Mobley was asked for his PIN number, he told the teller that he would just use the ATM. Instead, he got into a black SUV, with red, white and blue Ohio plates, and headed west on the Post Road.
There was another man behind the wheel, later identified as Dembo, and a third man. A special police officer spotted a black Lexus with Ohio plates at the downtown train station, with two men inside, Dembo and Mobley. When officers arrived, Mobley was walking away from the Lexus.
Found by police and a passerby near the train station were several Maryland driver’s licenses, all with different names but all with Mobley’s photo. Credit cards with those same names were also found. A Citibank employee positively identified Mobley as the man who attempted to get the $1,000 cash advance.
Both Dembo and Mobley denied being at Citibank, and Mobley refused to speak with officers. Dembo allowed police to search his car, and they located a small amount of marijuana and an Apple iWatch. Dembo said the watch was his, but when asked to unlock it and make a phone call, police said Dembo said it belonged to a friend of his.
Dembo said Mobley had never been in his car and didn’t know him. According to police, Dembo has a prior record, including reckless endangerment, assault, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and criminal possession of a weapon. He also had two expired Homeland Security employment authorization cards in his possession.
Mobley was charged with criminal attempt to commit fifth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny, illegal use of a credit card, criminal impersonation, and second-degree larceny. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on March 14.