Texas fugitive arrested in Windsor suspected of identity theft

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An Aryan Brotherhood gang member wanted in Texas who was arrested Monday at a Windsor hotel was found with materials involving check fraud, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Paul Eugene Rasco, 45, had used a fake credit card on Sunday to book two rooms at the Hampton Inn on Brooks Road South, sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha said.

According to a Houston-area roster of wanted gang members, Rasco is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. He was wanted on two arrest warrants involving assault, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A tip to Windsor police Monday morning that the wanted man was at the hotel brought a dozen officers and sheriff’s deputies to the hotel. They called Rasco in his room and he came out without incident, officials said.

Rasco was taken into custody for the warrants and arrested on suspicion of identity theft. Items found indicated a Sonoma County resident’s mail was stolen in relation to an alleged check fraud operation, Focha said.

Officers found a man in the second room rented by Rasco. That man, Eli Bratt, 34, of San Francisco was arrested on suspicion of forging credit cards and violating his probation. He was booked into the Sonoma County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. Bratt has since posted bail and was set to appear in Sonoma County court on March 10.

Rasco was due in court Wednesday afternoon. He was expected to eventually be extradited to Houston.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com or Twitter@rossmannreport.

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