Suspect spent $100K with stolen cards
by By Wes Mayer
A man was shot with an electronic stun gun and later arrested for using stolen credit cards at the Sam’s Club on Fischer Road.
Authorities are investigating the stolen cards, which they believe may have been used to purchase more than $100,000 in gift cards.
Deputies Mitch McEachern and Misty Angel responded Tuesday to calls from employees and found Brian Jamal Garland, 22, running out of the Sam’s Club. Garland resisted and officers used a stun device to bring him down, according to Investigator Chad McDonald with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.
Garland was charged with obstruction and battery, McDonald said. Deputies discovered seven different counterfeit credit cards in Garland’s possession, and he was also charged with seven counts of forgery in the second degree.
McDonald said Sam’s Club’s own financial investigators determined Garland used 231 different credit card accounts to purchase more than $118,000 in gift cards at numerous Sam’s Club stores in the Atlanta area since May 8. Garland used 83 of these credit card accounts in Coweta County.
“It is very common in fraud cases for the suspects to use stolen credit cards to purchase gift cards,” McDonald said. “They can pawn them, sell them or even use the gift cards for themselves, and it is a lot more difficult to trace gift cards.”
McDonald is awaiting confirmation from the banks involved, and he will be looking for any additional video surveillance evidence incriminating Garland.
“It is an ongoing case,” McDonald said. “I anticipate more charges to come.”
Currently it is unknown if Garland only purchased gift cards in Sam’s Club stores. Because gift cards are so difficult to trace, the only agencies with the resources to fully investigate Garland would be federal agencies, McDonald said, and $118,000 is not typically a large enough amount of money for them.
On top of his nine charges in Coweta County, Garland also had outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court in Clayton County and for violation of probation for a 2011 conviction of forgery in the second degree in Henry County. This makes Garland a repeat offender, McDonald said, and he will also be extradited to face those charges.