East Texas Cuban national sentenced to federal prison for gas pump skimmer scheme

Crime & Public Safety

BEAUMONT, Texas (KETK) – Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei announced today that a Cuban national has been sentenced to federal prison for skimming gas pumps.

Victor Entenza, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft this past May. Today, he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.

According to information presented in court, on Jan. 27, 2017, a Nacogdoches Police officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Entenza and occupied by Cuban nationals, Orlando Enrique Quesada-Oliva, 25, and Ricardo Chavez-Travieso, 29.

During the traffic stop, the officer discovered a credit card bearing the name of third party, leading to a more exhaustive search of the car. During this search, the officer found a notepad that listed various gas stations in Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama, numerous cell phones, a laptop computer and tape used as a security seal/tamper indicator for gas station fuel pumps.

The officer also located a card skimmer, an encoder, a key used to open gas pumps, and additional credit cards located in hidden compartments within the vehicle. Credit card information for nine individuals, none of whom were in the vehicle, was additionally found.

“Typically, a skimmer, such as the one found in this case, is placed inside a gas pump and used by criminals to collect credit card information from victims using the pump. The crime is difficult to detect because intended gas purchases will proceed without interruption or notification. A single gas station skimmer is capable of storing credit card information for hundreds of victims.”

Acting U.S. Attorney, Nicholas Ganjei

Entenza, Oliva, and Travieso were indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 8, 2020 and charged with federal violations.

Travieso also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aiding/abetting aggravated identity theft on Jul. 12, two months after Entenza. He is currently awaiting his sentencing date.

Oliva, however, still has a case pending against him.

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