Picture of a printer and a credit card machine sitting on a table with a mugshot of a black male in an orange jumpsuit superimposed on top of the picture

A local vacation rental company is defrauded nearly $20,000 in a credit card scam after the renters use fraudulent credit card information to book vacation homes.

In October of 2022, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of vacation rentals being booked using fake credit cards and thousands of dollars in damage before the guests checked out.

During the investigation, intelligence was gathered leading authorities to identify Javonte Derand Barnes, 30, of Orlando as a suspect.

On December 6, 2022, the property management company alerted Walton County Sheriff’s Office they had reason to believe the same suspect booked another rental using fraudulent credit cards. The report led investigators to a vacation home on Azzurro Way in Santa Rosa Beach.

A search warrant revealed multiple altered driver’s licenses containing Barnes’ photo along with several fake credit cards altered to match the driver’s license information. Investigators also found specialized equipment used to create fraudulent credit cards as well as notebooks containing over twenty stolen identities.

Javonte Barnes was subsequently arrested and booked into the Walton County Jail. Barnes is facing fifteen counts of credit card forgery, two counts of possession of an altered driver’s license, trafficking in stolen credit cards, possession of personal identification information of greater than five individuals, and possession of credit card manufacturing equipment. Barnes also has active fraud warrants out of Pinellas County and Seminole County in Texas.

Barnes is being held on a $250,000 bond and is still incarcerated at the time of this release.