$40,000 check fraud suspect arrested at Atlanta Airport; jailed woman charged with bringing in contraband


An Augusta woman who was under investigation by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office for executing a check fraud scheme was apprehended at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and turned over to local authorities over the weekend.

Dechanta Benning, 33, is in the Fayette County Jail with no bond on felony charges of financial identity fraud, according to an FCSO spokesman. She was arrested in connection with an incident that took place in November of 2021.

According to reports, she fraudulently took six checks from a credit union with a total amount in excess of $40,000. It took FCSO detectives some time to investigate because she is not from this area, but they identified her as the primary suspect and took out the appropriate warrants.

The county jail log showed the arrest as having taken place Aug. 4 at the airport. The exact circumstances of the actual arrest were not confirmed, but officials said it may have happened because the suspect was attempting to travel out of the region and had her identification flagged by the Transportation Security Administration, at which time Atlanta police would have held her and notified FCSO officers to pick her up.

An unrelated incident closer to home over the weekend resulted in a suspect getting a felony charge for trying to sneak drugs into the jail after her own arrest. The jail log indicates that Takiya Gresham, 46, of Fayetteville was arrested Aug. 6 just before 1:30 a.m. and charged with a felony count of crossing the guardline with contraband as well as lesser charges of tampering with evidence, DUI alcohol, marijuana possession and a headlight violation.

It was mainly because of the headlights that she was stopped in the place, according to an FCSO spokesman. A deputy made the traffic stop because the car’s headlights were not turned on while she was driving in the middle of the night. As is often the case, she didn’t turn them on because she was drunk and probably didn’t realize they were off, officials said.

After the stop the deputy discovered that she was not only drunk but also had marijuana, some of which she concealed and even ingested. That is what led to the more serious charge.