AUGUSTA — Two Cuban nationals arrested in September at the Waterville Wal-Mart pleaded guilty Thursday to misuse of identification in a case in which police say they created fake credit cards using stolen numbers and used them to purchase gift and credit cards.

Alexey Caraballo-Rosado, 35, and Mario Adan Ebanks Benitez, 31, both of Las Vegas, entered the pleas at the Capital Judicial Center as they stood with their attorneys and with Spanish-language interpreters. Benitez previously had indicated he lived in Kissimmee, Florida.

The men’s cases were handled at separate hearings because they were co-defendants.

In exchange for their guilty pleas to three counts of misuse of identification that occurred Sept. 23, 2016, in Waterville, the prosecutor dismissed charges of theft by receiving stolen property and theft by deception and two other counts of misuse of identification.

The men were sentenced to 60 days in jail, a term negotiated between the state and defense attorneys, and given credit for 60 days served.

Under Maine law, a person commits misuse of identification by presenting or using a stolen debit or credit card or by making unauthorized use of an account, credit or billing number or billing number “that was obtained as a result of fraud or deception.”

Misuse of identification is defined as a class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

Both defendants also agreed to forfeit to the Waterville Police Department the gift cards and money orders seized by police. It was unclear what the total amount was, but police previously said the face value of the cards was $14,600.

They men were arrested Sept. 27, 2016, inside Wal-Mart by Waterville police Officer Chase Fabian, who was at the store investigating reports from consumers that unauthorized purchases had been made there with their credit cards even though the victims still had the cards.

According to an affidavit by Waterville police Detective David Caron, Fabian was viewing surveillance footage of the alleged fraudulent transactions, which showed suspects Caraballo-Rosado and Benitez, when the men were seen at a register in the store and one was purchasing a large amount of gift cards.

When Fabian arrested them, Caron had six $100 prepaid credit cards on him as well as other gift cards, Caron said.

Both men indicated they could speak only Spanish, and they told a Spanish-speaking Waterville police officer they were visiting Maine and denied using stolen credit cards to make the purchases.

The affidavit says Caraballo-Rosado told police he had been arrested previously in Las Vegas, and Caron said he found Caraballo-Rosado was charged there in 2014 with 10 counts of forging credit or debit cards with intent to defraud.

Police also said the two men were driving a vehicle with Nevada license plates June 23 and 27 when they went to Wal-Mart. Waterville police said the men had been staying at a hotel in Bangor.

Waterville police obtained a search warrant for the hotel room and reported finding a machine that can take information from legitimate credit cards and then create new cards with them.

Both Caraballo-Rosado’s attorney, Elizabeth Gray, and Benitez’s attorney, Brad Grant, said they warned their clients that the pleas could have immigration consequences because the men were not U.S. citizens.

Grant told Judge Eric Walker that Benitez was in the country legally.

“We did discuss the immigration consequences, but we don’t believe there will be any,” Grant said.

Assistant District Attorney Francis Griffin said it did not appear that the two men faced charges elsewhere in Maine.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.