Second suspect in organized fraud ring now in Fayette jail

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A second suspect in what authorities believe to be an organized fraud and theft ring is now in custody at the Fayette County Jail.

A spokesman for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office stated that the April 17 arrest of Philmore Williams, 41, of Atlanta is related to an incident in late March in which at least two people used other people’s identification and financial information to make purchases at a local furniture store.

Williams faces nine felony charges, according to the Fayette County Jail log: four counts of financial identity fraud, two counts each of financial transaction card fraud and theft by deception, and one RICO Act charge.

This arrest comes about three weeks after Sanchez Ingram, 34, of Atlanta was apprehended at the Furniture Expressions store on Hwy. 85 the afternoon of March 27. Officials said Sanchez had attempted to buy a large amount of furniture using another person’s identity and credit card, but store management was able to stall him long enough for deputies to arrive and take him into custody.

Sanchez and Williams face similar charges, and the RICO Act charge stems from investigators attempting to show that this was an organized crime effort in which other people could also be involved. The investigation is ongoing, an FCSO spokesman said after the arrest of Williams.

Elsewhere in the county, a Peachtree City police officer conducting a security check in the area of Market Place Boulevard just after midnight April 17 noticed some men in the back of the parking lot around a black Toyota RAV 4. The smell of marijuana was strong enough that the officer could smell it as he drove by, according to the report.

The men got into the vehicle and began to drive away as police approached, while the marijuana odor was still strong enough to be detected from behind by an officer in the police car. A traffic stop was initiated and the occupants instructed to get out of the vehicle.

A probable cause search revealed the presence of green leaf marijuana and a THC vape. The driver, Joshua Jones, 35, of Tyrone, was arrested on a felony drug charge and taken to the Fayette County Jail. A passenger, Nyrell Jones, 30, was released on a misdemeanor marijuana possession violation.

In the wee hours of April 17 an officer responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in the area of Treillage Lane and Cameron Trail about a man who appeared to be asleep behind the wheel of a truck. The suspect was contacted and field sobriety evaluations were conducted.

Jeffery Gustafson, 43, of Peachtree City was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine mixed with fentanyl, which was sufficient for a felony drug count, along with misdemeanor marijuana possession. He was taken to jail and the truck was towed.

Officers in Peachtree City received a BOLO the afternoon of April 18 regarding a suspected impaired driver who had struck a mailbox and fled the scene. That driver was soon located and apprehended.

The woman, 55, was charged with driving under the influence, aggressive driving and failure to report a collision with a fixed object.