BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvania State Police have arrested a man in Bedford County who they said recruited a homeless man to make fake IDs so they could use them to withdraw money from other people’s accounts.
Michael G. Amos, 35, of Woodbury, NJ, and the homeless man, Joseph James Taggart, 51, were pulled over on the Pa. Turnpike at around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2 for a traffic stop, according to the criminal complaint.
Troopers said that Amos was driving and the duo was found with eight IDs — two Pennsylvania IDs and six Ohio IDs — that all had Taggart’s picture but different names. State police said they also found six Chase Sapphire Bank cards that had the names of those on the fake IDs, the complaint reads.
Taggart alleged that he was homeless and Amos approached him a few days back asking if he wanted to make some money. Amos then allegedly took Taggart’s picture to create the fake IDs. According to Taggert’s account to police, Amos picked him up this morning and they were on their way to Ohio to use the IDs and cards to withdraw money from the various bank accounts, the complaint shows.
Taggart also claimed that Amos “paid” him with four bags of Fentanyl, two of which were found on him during the investigation.
Troopers noted in the complaint that Taggart continually gave them a fake name when they asked and he was eventually identified by his fingerprint.
Court documents show that the two are facing a slew of charges including conspiracy of identity theft and eight counts each of identity theft and possession of an instrument of crime. Amos is also charged with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver while Taggart was also charged with giving false identification to officers.
Both men were placed in Bedford County Prison with bail set at $200,000 each.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Aug. 16.