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      Coke habit motive in three-state credit card scam

      Authorities believe a cocaine habit fueled a pre-paid credit scam that ran in 61 cities across three states but has now ended with three arrests.

      Weslaco police have filed credit card abuse charges against Edward Smith, Mark Dinn and Jaime Ortiz.

      Investigators believe that the three men made tens of thousands of dollars in a scam that may have started in November.

      The men went to convenience stores to buy $500 pre-paid credit cards but when it came time to pay, they told the clerk they had to go get the money.

      Police said the men never came back and used used the credit card numbers, which they had written down, and used them at nearby stores or to make on-line payments.

      Weslaco Police Department spokesman JP Rodriguez said the men hit up two Stripes convience stores in Weslaco but were caught on tape.

      Investigators were able to identify Smith through the license plates and other evidence. He led police to Dinn and Ortiz.

      Authorities arrested Smith earlier this week in Corpus Christi but extradited him to Weslaco.

      Police also arrested Dinn and Ortiz in Corpus Christi where they are facing extradition to the Rio Grande Valley.

      Rodriguez said the three men's cocaine habit fueled the scam, which they used to pay for drugs and their daily living expenses.