News Column

I-78 Allentown stop turns up illegal credit card machine in SUV, police say

February 27, 2014

By Frank Warner, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

Feb. 27--A motorist was charged with having an illegal credit-card-making machine on Interstate 78 in Allentown early Wednesday after he was pulled over for a traffic violation, police said.

Kevin F. Joy, 52, of Brooklyn was going west on I-78 at 2:30 a.m. with three passengers in a sport utility vehicle when a state trooper stopped him for weaving between lanes, according to the police arrest affidavit.

The credit card printer, blank credit cards and lists of Social Security numbers were found after the trooper obtained a search warrant to look for drugs in the car, the affidavit says.

Joy was arraigned Wednesday night by District Judge Karen Devine on charges of possession of unlawful equipment to make fake credit cards, possession of an instrument of crime, and failure to stay in his lane.

He was sent to Lehigh County Prison under $15,000 bail.

Joy's three passengers were released.

Trooper Shawn McCormick was following Joy on I-78 west when he saw the SUV going down the middle lane, but drifting left and right over the lane lines, the affidavit says.

McCormick turned on his lights and siren and Joy pulled over after a mile, the affidavit says. Joy allegedly told the trooper he didn't stop immediately because thought the police car was going after someone else.

As McCormick talked with Joy and the passengers, they gave inconsistent accounts of where they were going and why, according to the affidavit.

After smelling a suspicious air freshener in the SUV and seeing an Allentown police K9 dog indicate the vehicle contained drugs, the trooper had the car impounded and asked for a search warrant, the affidavit says.

District Judge Patricia Engler approved the search warrant at 7:30 a.m., police said.

The search found no drugs, but turned up the credit card printing machine, three fraudulent credit cards, 300 credit card blanks, a credit card reader-skimmer, and private financial information on other people, the affidavit says.

Joy eventually told police he knew he had the credit card printer, which he said he was taking from New York City to South Carolina, police said.

-- Frank Warner


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