Cops: ID-Theft Ringleader Arrested

James Garran-Samfo, 35, was extradited to Stamford on Wednesday after being arrested in New York City one month ago, according to police.

A 35 year-old New York man was extradited to Stamford on Wednesday following a six-month identity theft investigation that affected both city and Darien residents, according to Stamford police.

Stamford Sgt. Peter diSpagna gave this account of the matter:

On May 11 last year, the Darien Police Department contacted Stamford police about their investigation into complaints they received from residents regarding identity theft.

Apparently, someone was opening "Bill Me Later" accounts in the complainants' names and during their investigation, the department discovered that three laptops purchased under a fraudulent "Bill Me Later" account would be delivered via FedEx to a Stamford home the following day.

Stamford police set up undercover surveillance around a home on Rolling Wood Drive the next day where the FedEx truck was due to deliver the laptops. The truck arrived, but when no one answered the door, the driver took the packages with him and left.

While other officers followed the truck to see if anyone would intercept it and claim the packages, one officer continued to survey the home. He eventually saw an SUV briefly pull up to the home as if "scanning the driveway" and then pull off.

The officer followed the SUV, which had temporary out-of-state license plates, and observed that the two individuals inside were not the residents of the Rolling Wood Drive home.

After stopping the SUV on High Ridge Road, diSpagna said that he observed the passenger stuffing something in between his seat and the console, which police discovered was a fake ID with the address of the Rolling Wood Drive home.

A laptop was also seized from the vehicle. The two individuals inside of the vehicle—Ibrahim Musah, 27, 830 Magenta St, Bronx, NY, and Emeka Ukazu, 25, of 963 E. Gunhill Road South, Bronx, NY—were arrested and charged with criminal attempt to commit third-degree larceny.

After analyzing the seized laptop, police were led to James "Sparrow" Garran-Samfo, who was allegedly stealing the identities of Stamford and Darien residents, ordering the laptops and then hiring "runners," such as Musah and Ukazu, to pick them up after being delivered by FedEx. 

After obtaining a warrant, the New York Police Department arrested Garran-Samfo last month and charged him as a fugitive of justice. Garran-Samfo fought extradition to Connecticut, so the Stamford Police Department obtained a governor's warrant, which permitted them to arrest Garran-Samfo on Wednesday.

Garran-Samfo of 3618 Bronx Blvd, Bronx, NY, was charged with trafficking personal identifying information, conspiracy to commit third-degree identity theft and conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny. His bond is set at $100,000 and he is due to appear in court on Feb. 27.

Garran-Samfo, who is a native of Sudan, is also wanted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, diSpagna said.

Editor's note: This article originally was published by Stamford Patch.


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