But other law enforcement sources said it was not clear whether
there was a link between the Target data breach and the arrests,
which occurred at the U.S. border crossing at McAllen, Texas.
Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington
D.C., confirmed that the agency was looking for any connection
between Target data breach and the two Mexicans.
Target has said a breach of its networks during the busy holiday
shopping period resulted in the theft of about 40 million credit and
debit card records and 70 million other records with customer
information such as addresses and telephone numbers.
"The U.S. Secret Service continues to work closely with affected
parties and law enforcement to investigate the Target breach. In
regards to the arrest announced yesterday, the Secret Service is
working with the U.S. Attorney's Office and McAllen Police
Department to determine if there is any connection," Donovan said in
Three law enforcement sources familiar with the matter said there
were indications that any connection between the Target breach and
the man and woman could turn out to be insignificant and indirect.
One possible explanation, they said, is that the arrested pair
somehow acquired credit card or other data stolen from Target over
the Internet and had no real knowledge or involvement, other than as
data purchasers, of the people who originally carried out the hack,
who investigators say may be based in Eastern Europe.
[to top of second column]
Reports from McAllen quoted Victor Rodriguez, the local police
chief, as saying that Mary Carmen Garcia Vaquera, 27, and Daniel
Guardiola Dominguez, 28, both from Monterrey, Mexico, had been
detained and charged with fraud related to the Target hack.
Rodriguez was quoted by the Wall Street Journal saying that the pair
had used credit card data stolen from Target to purchase tens of
thousands of dollars worth of goods from Walmart, Best Buy and other
stores in South Texas.
The Los Angeles Times quoted another McAllen police spokesman as
saying the two detained individuals had been carrying 90 fraudulent
credit cards and another 22 that were found later.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; editing by Ros Krasny and Steve Orlofsky)
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