Suspect wants jail phone-scam trial moved

Mar 14 2013 - 9:47pm

Images

Brandi Lyn Suiter
Frances Ramirez
Aurora Y. Flores
Michael Rivera
Nikkol Guajarda
Brandi Lyn Suiter
Frances Ramirez
Aurora Y. Flores
Michael Rivera
Nikkol Guajarda

FARMINGTON -- The attorney for the youngest defendant accused of being involved in an identity-theft ring said her case should be in juvenile court, not in adult court.

Martin V. Gravis filed a motion Wednesday to move the charges against Brandi Lynn Suiter, 20, of Roy to 2nd District Juvenile Court. She appeared in 2nd District Court on Wednesday with her attorney.

According to the motion filed, Suiter was younger than 18 years old "when the alleged offense was committed."

Suiter, along with six other people, is charged with communications fraud and engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, both second-degree felonies; as well as identity theft, a third-degree felony.

According to a warrant for arrest filed in 2nd District Court on Feb. 22, the seven are accused of running an elaborate identity-theft ring from inside Davis County Jail and selling phone numbers to fellow prisoners.

The prisoners would use the phone numbers to talk for free, running up a bill in the name of a person whose identity was stolen, police said.

Police estimate the losses to CenturyLink may be as much as $200,000.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Steve Major said Gravis contends that Suiter was younger than 18 years old when the crimes were committed.

According to the probable cause statement, the phone scam ran from Oct. 1, 2009, to Jan. 15, 2013.

Major said if Gravis can prove that Suiter was involved only when she was a juvenile, the case can be moved to juvenile court. But if she was involved at all when she was an adult, the case could stay in adult court.

Another hearing is set for March 27.

Of the six other defendants, two have been in court. Frances Nicole Ramirez, 25, appeared in court March 8. She has a felony arraignment hearing set for Monday. She is being held in the jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Nikkol Juanita Guajarda, 31, of Layton, appeared in court Feb. 25. She has a felony arraignment hearing set for March 25. She has been released from jail.

Aurora Y. Flores, 24, has a roll call hearing set for April 10.

Warrants have been issued for Michael Rivera, 32; Eric William Naia Kamahele, 26; and Tina Feve Deluna, 32.

Rivera and Kamahele, who were both inmates in the jail, orchestrated the scam and were assisted by family members and friends on the outside, police said.

Rivera is currently serving two terms of one to 15 years in Utah State Prison for his role in a botched robbery in 2009.

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