Judge dismisses case without prejudice against two men accused of credit/debit card misuse

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SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan on Tuesday dismissed the case against two men accused of debit/credit card misuse.

The charges against Korey Marok Leon and Steven Roman Tudela were dismissed without prejudice after the judge learned that the two were questioned while being detained at the Department of Corrections before an arrest warrant was issued against them.

At the hearing, the judge stated that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter and would issue a release order for the defendants.

But the judge also told the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Heather Barcinas, that she could refile the case by issuing a summons against the defendants who were represented by Assistant Public Defender Jean Pierre Nogues.

Tudela, 25, and Leon, 19, were charged with three counts of misuse of financial instruments.

According to Detective Jeffrey I. Norita, on Jan. 17, 2020 at 2:07 p.m., police were dispatched to LJ Market in Gualo Rai for a reported theft incident.

Police met with the victim who reported that someone swiped his Bank of Hawaii credit card to purchase items from three business establishments.

The victim told police that he received notification from his cell phone, through his BOH app, alerting him of the transactions totaling $1,567.

The victim said he noticed that his cards, which were in a Ziploc bag, were not in his drawer on Jan. 15, but he thought that he might have misplaced them in his car.

Tudela, in a freely given statement to police in the morning of Jan. 18, stated that he rented a white Toyota Corolla on Jan. 17 and found several credit cards in the car. He then used one of the cards to purchase cigarettes at Jin Li Market.

Tudela said he then picked up Leon and handed him the same card to purchase cartons of cigarettes at Tres Marias in San Vicente. He said they used two more cards to purchase cellular phones at Computer Electronics Outlet.

Leon was also interviewed by the police and he corroborated what Tudela had told the officers.

He added that he knew what they were doing was wrong.

Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio reviewed the affidavit of probable cause and signed the arrest warrant for both defendants on Jan. 18 at 3:43 p.m.

Tudela refused to acknowledge and sign the copy of the complaint against him while Leon acknowledged and signed it.

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