Braxton Citizens' News

Michigan pair charged with fraud at local Wal-Mart

On Thursday, June 30 at approximately 6:35 p.m. Trooper E. W. Clark of the Sutton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police responded to a complaint at the Wal-Mart in Flatwoods. Upon arrival the officer was informed by the store’s Loss Prevention Officer, Jeremy Gray that two individuals had entered the store and purchased approximately $1,372.70 in electronics.

The officer’s investigation led him to the employee who waited on two juveniles.  The employee said the pair made a purchase with the “cash” debit card that they told the employee had to be ran as cash. The officer also discovered that the pair had returned an HP laptop computer, valued at $895.59, which was originally purchased at a Wal-Mart in Morgantown.

Trooper Clark subsequently was informed that the Summersville Police Department had the same two juveniles and two adults in custody for attempting a similar fraudulent scheme at the Summersville Wal-Mart. The neighboring law enforcement agency also told Trooper Clark that over $3,500 in merchandise in the vehicle the group was driving from various Wal-Mart locations.

Trinity T. Franklin, 19, and Alfonzo L. Lawson, Jr., 20, both from Flint, Michigan were arrested and charged with committing fraudulent schemes and felony conspiracy. 

The pair were arraigned before Braxton County Magistrate David Singleton regarding the charges in this county. They are currently lodged in the Central Regional Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash only bonds awaiting additional court proceedings. The investigation is continuing. Charges against the juvenile are pending as are charges in other West Virginia jurisdictions.