Two arrested after Selma police find forgery operation in hotel room

Officers identified at least nine fraud victims, according to affidavit

Sherry Victoria Cooper, left, and Donald Joe Gilliland, right, were arrested on fraud charges. (KSAT)

Selma police have arrested two people in connection with a forgery operation found in a hotel room in late September.

Sherry Victoria Cooper, 31, and Donald Joe Gilliland Jr., 51, are both charged with tampering with governmental records and fraudulent use and possessing identifying information. Gilliland was arrested at the crime scene on Sept. 22, while Cooper was arrested on Sunday, records showed.

On Sept. 22, 2021, Selma police were called to the Comfort Inn at 15771 IH-35 N after a caller reported that his credit card was used to rent a room there without permission.

After knocking on the room door multiple times, staff assisted police in entering the room, according to the arrest affidavit.

Officers found Gilliland inside the room, along with drug paraphernalia, a spiral-bound notebook containing several names with personal information, a large printer and several printed checks.

Gilliland told officers that the property belonged to Cooper, who he described as a “self-employed computer forensic tech” who was fixing her computer, according to the affidavit.

In all, police found more than 50 pieces of identifying information belonging to at least nine victims. In the affidavit, investigators wrote that forensic exams on a computer and storage devices found in the hotel room may yield “the potential for discovery of many more victims.”

Both Gilliland and Cooper have a criminal history that includes fraud charges. They remained in jail Monday, jail records showed.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.