Two more arrested, one still at large in Salt Lake Valley ‘jackpotting’ scheme

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal agents arrested two suspects over the weekend in connection with a scheme to steal money from ATMs in the Salt Lake Valley.

A representative for the U.S. Department of Justice said agents arrested 32-year-old Carlos Eduardo Goncalves Duran and 36-year-old Jean Carlos Dumont Gonzalez at the Miami airport.

Duran and Gonzalez, both of Venezuela, are among seven suspects accused of plotting to rob ATMs in the Salt Lake City area through "jackpotting."

"'Jackpotting' is a sophisticated ATM theft where perpetrators install vulnerable hard drives that are compromised with malware that allow the perpetrators to bypass the security and accounting features of the ATM, and enter commands directing the ATM to dispense cash until it is empty," a document filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Utah, Central Division said.

On the morning of February 25, agents observed Duran and Gonzalez meeting with several other people at Salt Lake City's Liberty Park, then traveling to an area in Cottonwood Heights close to ATMs at Zions Bank branch and a Mountain America Credit Union branch, the document said.

"Zion's Bank subsequently called to report an attempted breach of their ATM at that location," the document said. "A customer drove up behind the car at the Zion's Bank ATM, and the individual at the ATM returned to the vehicle and the vehicle, and the other suspect vehicles all immediately left the vicinity. The vehicles all proceeded to an area on 94th South."

Agents observed one of the suspect's vehicles at an ATM at a Deseret First Credit Union branch in Sandy, the document said.

"As laws enforcement agents approached the bank, the ATM was displaying a screen that indicated the software system of the ATM had been breached. Agents approached the suspect vehicle and found the ATM dispensing cash, and arrested the individual in the car and found electronic equipment and a bag full of cash."

Agents arrested Joao Silva Robertson, Josshua Perez Rivas, Starlin Garcia Caraballo and Pedro Rivera Velazquez, all of whom are also from Venezuela, at the scene.

According to the document, agents unsuccessfully pursued two other suspects to a nearby Walmart store.

"The agents reviewed surveillance video and found the suspects had exited through a small entrance intended to be used for shopping carts only and dashed into a nearby neighborhood," the document said.

Agents identified those two suspects as Duran and Gonzalez through evidence they found in two of the vehicles used in the alleged plot, the document states.

Duran and Gonzalez face federal charges of bank robbery and fraud and related activity in connection with computers.

One suspect, Luis Mata, remains on the run. Anyone with information that could help agents locate Mata is urged to call the local FBI office at 801-579-1400.