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Cuban national charged with having 77 forged credit/debit cards

A Cuban national was in State Supreme Court Tuesday morning after being indicted on 77 felony counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and one misdemeanor charge of false personation. Arraignment, however, was delayed while the prosecutions and defense sort through factors affecting the case.

Deladier Benitez, 33, was arrested Oct. 11 after he allegedly presented a fake Ohio driver’s license to Peace Bridge inspectors. Pulled aside for further inspection, Benitez reportedly was found to be carrying more than 40 counterfeit credit and debit cards, some in his name and some issued to the alias on the Ohio license.

Prosecutor Brian Dassero said that a search of a hotel room Benitez was using produced another 30 fraudulent cards, along with gift cards that investigators believe Benitez purchased with the fake credit cards.

Justice Penny M. Wolfgang adjourned the case while the defense and prosecutors discuss a possible plea. The matter is complicated by Benitez’s status as a foreign national, since the United States does not currently have an extradition agreement with Cuba.

Nevertheless, Dassero told the court, “Immigration has a detainer on the defendant as we speak.”

This is not Benitez’s first encounter with the justice system. According to public records, he has more than one arrest on his record in Miami-Dade County, Florida, for grand larceny, carrying a concealed weapon and resisting arrest, among other offenses.

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