Felony forgery charges against Deval Rhodes, an Elmont man who was arrested on Jan. 13 by police in Rochester, N.H., were reduced to a misdemeanor during a hearing in Rochester Circuit Court last week.
Rhodes, 22, had been charged with felony forgery after he and another man used fraudulent credit cards to purchase $9,000 in gift cards in the span of two days.
According to Rochester police, Rhodes, of Renfrew Avenue, and Djeffry Louis, 20, of New York City, purchased $400 in gift cards on Jan. 13 at a Hannaford grocery store in Rochester. The pair returned to the store the same day and attempted to purchase an additional $800 in gift cards. After the credit card the men were using was declined twice, they left the store. Rochester police received a phone call that evening about the suspicious incident at the store, and after reviewing surveillance video of the incident, detained Rhodes and Louis.
According to police, Rhodes then allowed them to search the vehicle he and Louis were using. Police discovered more than 100 gift cards — including Visa and American Express cards and store credit cards from Home Depot — in addition to marijuana in the vehicle’s center console and cocaine in the trunk.
Rhodes was charged with felony forgery and misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and Louis was charged with felony possession of cocaine, misdemeanor transportation of marijuana and misdemeanor driving after revocation or suspension. Police said that Rhodes’s forgery charge was the result of his signing of a false name at a CVS pharmacy in Rochester.
At the two men’s arraignment on Jan. 14, Assistant Strafford County Attorney Dorothy Walch further accused the men of knowing that the gift cards were stolen, but a judge ruled on Jan. 28 that were was no probable cause to charge either of the men with receiving stolen property.
Rhodes is scheduled to appear for trial on the misdemeanor forgery charge and misdemeanor marijuana possession charge on March 26.