Drugs, Cash & Skimmer Found During Traffic Stop

Two adults were arrested.


Mt. Airy, Md (KM) A traffic stop in the Mount Airy area early Saturday morning resulted in two arrests, and the confiscation of drugs, cash and a bank skimmer.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office says at around 4:50 AM, deputies conducting traffic surveillance along westbound Interstate 70 near Exit 68 pulled over a vehicle with one headlight out. The driver identified as Benone Lapadat, 39, displayed an expired Florida license, and was cited for driving without a license.They also say the name of the license was an alias he was using to avoid identification because he’s wanted in Texas on several active warrants.

Authorities say they found a small baggie containing suspected cocaine residue, along with two other baggies of suspected marijuana estimated at around ten grams, more than $6700 dollars in cash and a skimming device. Such devices are placed on ATM machines so a thief can get information on a customer’s bank account and PIN number.
Lapadat and Patrica Velcu, 26, were taken into custody.   Both are charged with drug possession, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a skimming device. Lapadat is also charged with fraud to prevent prosecution.
A 14-year-old male juvenile was also a passenger in the vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office says they were unable to locate any legal guardians so the youth  was turned over to the Department of Social Services.

The investigation is continuing, and being jointly conducted by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service (due to the skimming device).


By Kevin McManus