WHITTIER — A Santa Ana man faces identity theft and other charges after deputies found drugs and a flash drive containing names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers of several hundred people during a traffic stop.
Nicholas Chayette, 29, will be arraigned Friday in Whittier Superior Court.
The arrest stems from a Wednesday traffic stop at Washington Boulevard and Broadway in an unincorporated county area near Whittier.
Lt. Andrew Meyer of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera station said deputies pulled over the vehicle for a minor traffic violation around 7:40 p.m.
But there were other violations once the deputies got closer.
“The car smelled like marijuana,” Meyer said.
Chayette, who was the passenger, turned out to be on probation for forgery and drug possession. Because he is on probation, he could be subjected to a search.
During the search, deputies found several credit cards which appeared to be fraudulent and a small data disk containing over one thousand electronic files, according to sheriff’s officials.
Meyer said it was a flash drive. A small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana were also discovered on the suspect, according to the lieutenant.
The files contained names, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, PIN numbers and other personal information.
Chayette was arrested on suspicion of making or altering an access card, unauthorized use of the personal identifying information of another person, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.
He was being held at the sheriff’s Pico Rivera station without bail.
– Ruby Gonzales