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Police: 500 Fake Credit Cards Found Before Florida Fraudster Hits Newark

Robert Smith-Merced
Robert Smith-Merced Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

After finding 500 bogus credit and gift cards in his checked luggage, police at Orlando Airport called ahead to their Port Authority colleagues, who arrested a convicted con man as he got off a plane in Newark, authorities said.

Robert Smith-Merced, 46, Kissimmee FL, "was unaware that the luggage holding the fraudulent cards was still being held by authorities in Orlando" when he got off the Delta flight around 10 a.m. Thursday, the authority's Joseph Pentangelo said.

Officers waiting at the gate found him carrying three fake credit cards and a bogus Connecticut driver's license, Pentangeo said.

The license even had Smith-Merced's picture on it, only with someone else's name -- just like the credit cards, he said.

Smith-Merced -- who records show spent several years in state prison in New York for a check-counterfeiting scheme -- was turned over to the U.S. Secret Service to face federal charges for possession of counterfeit devices, Pentangelo said.

Port Authority police charged him with credit card theft and carrying false government documents.

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