New York-based counterfeiting ring busted in Trumbull

Trumbull police busted what appears to be a New York-based counterfeiting ring Wednesday after an officer patrolling the parking lot spotted three men acting suspiciously outside the Westfield mall about 6 p.m., according to Captain Keith Golding.

“The males split up and entered the mall after spotting the marked patrol car,” Golding said. “A short time later, the same males exited the mall and quickly made their way to a waiting vehicle parked near the exit.”

While this was happening, a loss prevention manager for the Apple Store in the mall approached the officer and told him the three males had just tried to use fraudulent credit cards to make several large purchases.

The officer stopped the suspects’ vehicle, driven by Shaheen Hopson, 22, as it exited onto Main Street. The three suspects identified by the Apple employee and the officer, were also inside the car. Police searched the car and found nearly two dozen fraudulent credit cards, two electronic credit card readers and an unspecified amount of counterfeit cash.

The four suspects, Hopson, Devon Ross, 21, and Shaheed Clarke, 21, all of Bronx, NY, and Marcus Fredericks, 27, of Ellabell, Georgia, all were charged with illegal use of a scanning device, second-degree forgery, third-degree identity theft, and several other charges. Bond was $100,000 each for court January 16.