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Houston gas skimmer avoids prison in connection with Tyler crime

Published: May. 20, 2019 at 12:41 PM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A Houston man who installed a gas skimmer at a Henderson gas station heard his sentence Monday.

Damian Faustino Paz-Santovenia was sentenced to 10 years adjudication probation plus community service for the crime of engaging in organized crime.

Santovenia had no prior felonies. He will begin his probation in Smith County before having it transferred to Harris County. He will also have to take English as a second language.

Paz-Santovenia was arrested in Florida back in September of 2018 after law enforcement there learned that he had outstanding warrants. He was brought back to Texas and booked into the Rusk County Jail on a second-degree felony unlawful interception charge.

According to an arrest affidavit, the skimmer was found on a pump at a gas station on the 1200 block of Kilgore Drive. The detective reached out to a Smith County Sheriff’s Office detective, who is assigned to the US Secret Service Task Force. The skimmer was processed for fingerprints and was matched to Paz-Santovenia, who was born in Cuba and had been living in Houston.

Paz-Santovenia’s driver’s license photo matched images from the Henderson Wal-Mart where victims’ credit card numbers were used, the affidavit stated. He was also captured on video in Tyler at a store where a Henderson victim’s debit card number was being used to get cash.

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