ORLANDO, Fla. – A Craigslist ad posted in December for discounted Disney World tickets led to the arrest of one man, who is accused of trying to sell counterfeit tickets to tourists and undercover detectives.
The victim filed a police report Jan. 14 after purchasing four counterfeit Park Hopper tickets from a Craigslist ad posted by 19-year-old Branden Bullerin, police said.
According to the arrest report, when the victim arrived at Orlando International Airport, she met Bullerin in the food court to purchase the tickets.
The victim was a given a copy of Bullerin's driver license and his Social Security card as she was making the transaction.
Bullerin listed his name as a cast member on the tickets, making it appear he was a Disney employee selling his complimentary tickets, the report said.
Detectives also noted that there were many grammatical errors on the tickets, and they listed an expiration date of January 2018.
Detectives were told by a Walt Disney World guest services manager that Bullerin was "not a cast member" or ever employed by the company, the report stated.
According to the arrest report, when the victim arrived at Disney World, she was told the tickets that she purchased from Bullerin were counterfeit.
Hoping to catch the suspect, undercover detectives posted their own Craiglist ad Jan. 25, stating "Need Disney Tickets ASAP." The post said they need five tickets "today and to please call of (or) text to make arrangements, have cash. Arriving late morning."
Bullerin responded to the detectives’ ad and agreed to meet at the airport's food court Jan. 26, the report stated.
An undercover detective said he paid Bullerin $400 for tickets Disney officials later confirmed to be fraudulent.
While he was being taken into custody, Bullerin told police his friend, Jimmy Messer, was also involved in the scheme, according to a report.
As police listened in, Bullerin called Messer by phone and asked him to deliver additional tickets to the airport, investigators said.
A short time later, officers conducted a traffic stop on Messer’s taxi cab.
Inside the cab, detectives recovered 53 counterfeit Disney and Universal theme park tickets, they said.
Police arrested Messer on misdemeanor charges of possessing a fraudulent theme park admission ticket.
Bullerin was booked into the Orange County Jail on Thursday on felony charges of third-degree grand theft, forgery and scheme to defraud.
Bullerin has been arrested at least 17 times, according to prosecutors.
At least two of those prior arrests were on suspicion of selling fraudulent theme park tickets, records show.