Man doesn’t want to admit credit card fraud if it means deportation

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 September 2016 at 10:18 am

ALBION – A man who was wanted by Orleans County law enforcement for five years is prepared to plead guilty to his crime, as long as it doesn’t get him deported.

Yoel Martin Pena, 40, was originally charged in February 2012 when he and Felix Darias allegedly had 47 fraudulent credit cards that they used at the Albion Wal-Mart.



The two were Miami, Fla. residents and were charged with first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. Pena faced the additional charge of third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument because he allegedly had a fake South Carolina driver’s license.

Darias was sentenced for the crime, but Pena fled the area. He was picked up recently in Texas and extradited to Orleans County.

District Attorney Joe Cardone offered Pena a plea deal on Monday for attempted criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, which can carry up to 4 years in state prison.

Pena’s attorney Mark Lewis said a sentence of a year or more would mean automatic deportation for Pena. His client is willing to accept a plea offer as long as the sentence is 364 days or fewer. That sentence of less than a year means he wouldn’t be deported, Lewis said in court on Monday.

Orleans County Court Judge James Punch believes the felony crime would likely result in Pena being deported, regardless of the sentence length.

“There is a substantial probability you will be deported,” Punch told Pena.

Lewis said he believes because the crime is not an aggravated felony that Pena would be permitted to stay in the country as long as the sentence is 364 days or less. The case was adjourned until Sept. 26 to determine if a sentence of a year or more in prison means a mandatory deportation.

Lewis said Pena doesn’t want to accept a plea deal if it means deportation.

In other cases in Orleans County Court on Monday:

Evan Shaffer, 23, of Lee Road in Albion was arraigned for violating his probation. Shaffer has been on probation after being convicted of attempted burglary in the third degree in Genesee County in 2014. He faces probation violations after being arrested for driving while intoxicated in Brockport on July 5, and for allegedly leaving jurisdiction and not meeting with probation officer.

• Lindsay Skivington, 29, of Cook Road was arraigned for felony DWI after being arrested in the Village of Albion on July 31. She allegedly has two prior DWIs. Judge Punch set bail at $1,000.