Former MLB pitcher Woodmere mayor pleads guilty to using credit card info stolen from dark web to buy $10,000 worth of gas while delivering Amazon packages

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Former Woodmere Mayor Charles E. Smith pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges that accuse him of buying hundreds of stolen credit card numbers from the dark web and using them to buy more than $10,000 worth of gasoline.

Smith, who was a pitcher for the Florida Marlins before serving two terms as mayor of the small southeast suburb of 800 people from 2009 to 2017, used the gas to deliver Amazon packages, prosecutors said.

The 52-year-old faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft and access device fraud.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko is expected to sentence Smith on August 25.

Federal prosecutors indicted Smith on April 21 via an information, a sign that a defendant is ready to plead guilty instead of going through the grand jury for indictment.

Smith went to the dark web, a part of the internet that requires special servers to access it and allows users to remain completely anonymous, and purchased account numbers and addresses from hundreds of stolen credit or debit cards. from May 2019 to May 2020, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Smith used a machine to encode account information on blank credit cards.

Smith charged cards more than $10,000 with the information stolen from gas stations in northeast Ohio while delivering packages for Amazon, prosecutors said. Victims of the robbery were spread across 25 states.

Prosecutors said an investigation found Smith purchased account information for more than 600 stolen credit and debit cards.

Smith, who filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, returned to politics in 2019 and won a seat on Woodmere Village Council. Smith resigned in March 2020 after less than three months in office, citing health reasons, according to Sorrow Valley Today.

Smith, who the Houston Astros signed as an undrafted free agent in 1991, struggled in the minor leagues for nine seasons before making his Major League debut in 2000. Smith pitched in two seasons, ranging from 11-11 with a 3.84 ERA in 34 games.

He struck out 189 in 210 innings and gave up 16 homers, including one of San Francisco Giants hitter Barry Bonds’ record 73 home runs in the 2001 season.

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