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Minn. roundup: Florida men convicted of credit card skimming; Man pleads guilty to lewd Minn. State Fair conduct

3 Florida men convicted of credit card skimming in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — Three Florida men have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a gas pump credit card skimming operation.

Roilan Garriga, 20, Wilbur Perez-Soca, 24, and Asleys Acosta, 28, each pleaded guilty to five counts each of felony identity theft in Hennepin County District Court, according to a release from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. They will be sentenced on January 8, 2018.

Garriga and Perez-Soca are expected to receive between 41-57 months in prison, according to the release. Acosta, who has credit card fraud convictions from Florida, agreed to a sentence in the range of 60-90 months.

During their court hearings, the men admitted they traveled from Florida to Minnesota for the sole purpose of stealing credit card information by installing skimmers on pumps at several gas stations. Using forged credit cards with the stolen information, they went on shopping sprees in the Twin Cities, including stores at the Mall of America, nightclubs and restaurants.

Police arrested the men in Minneapolis on Nov. 12, 2016. Officers found equipment used to install and monitor credit card skimmers in the men's van, along with more than 20 debit or prepaid credit cards encoded with personal information from a Minnesota resident.

Minn. DNR plans employment seminar for veterans

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a veteran employment seminar Jan. 3 in St. Paul, noting that many veterans want to work in a natural resources environment and many military skills translate into DNR positions.

"If you've served in the military, you probably have a lot of experience in many of our professional areas," said Don Matthys, DNR management resources regional supervisor and a retired Army veteran.

At the seminar, veterans will have the opportunity to talk to DNR staff who work in the areas of logistics, fisheries and wildlife, informational technology, GIS and mapping, forestry, operations, communications, safety, real estate forestry, enforcement, human resources, engineering and landscape architecture and more.

Human resources staff will provide information on how to apply for DNR jobs, set up job searches, and receive job posting notifications.

This event is free and will be at the DNR Headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55101. Space is limited so, registration is required. Register for a time slot between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/dnrvets2018.

Man pleads guilty to lewd Minn. State Fair conduct

ST. PAUL—An Isanti, Minn., man admitted in court this week to groping a woman and masturbating in front of children at the Minnesota State Fair this past summer, court records say.

Jeffrey Thomas Pendzimas, 62, made the admission Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court when he pleaded guilty to one count of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

His public defender, John Chitwood, could not immediately be reached for comment on Pendzimas' behalf.

Pendzimas was arrested Aug. 28 after a woman told officials that she felt a man reach into her shorts and grab her buttocks while she was in the fair's Miracle of Birth center with her young son and nephew, according to the criminal complaint filed in the case.

She initially thought the incident was an accident and moved away, but noticed that the man appeared to be masturbating. He then lifted his shirt and exposed himself, causing the woman to scream and cover the eyes of her son and nephew, legal documents say.

A State Fair employee also reported the lewd conduct. She told officials she saw Pendzimas expose himself and masturbate in front of children, the complaint said.

Pendzimas reportedly fled to the Coliseum, where he was arrested. The man has a long history of sexual misconduct charges and will be sentenced in January.

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