Following an early morning traffic stop on Jan. 29, Palo Alto police arrested a man for pimping, pandering, identity theft, possession of stolen mail and drug offenses. Officers also arrested two female passengers on other charges.
Benny Edward Hernandez, 21, Terri Ann Tollner, 36, and Kristina Victoria Fidecaro, 29, all of San Jose, and another woman were riding in a silver 2002 Honda Accord two-door on El Camino Real at an unsafe speed, according to a police press release. When the car stopped in a parking lot on the 2200 block of El Camino, an officer approached Hernandez, who was driving. Officers determined that Hernandez didn't have a license and that one of the passengers was on probation for possession of a controlled substance.
Officers searched the car and discovered evidence that the Hernandez was engaged in pimping and pandering. The search also yielded drugs, numerous items of allegedly stolen mail containing personal identifying information, and medication that police determined had been stolen the previous night in San Jose from a man's car, the press release states.
Police booked Hernandez and Tollner into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. Hernandez's charges included pimping, pandering, and aggravated identity theft (all felonies), as well two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance (morphine and medication without a prescription) and one count of possession of stolen property (a misdemeanor). Tollner's booking charges included identity theft (a felony), possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia (both misdemeanors). Police cited and released Fidecaro for possession of heroin (a misdemeanor) and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for driving without a license.
Officers believe that one passenger, a woman in her 30s, was the alleged victim of pimping and pandering by Hernandez. Detectives are working with inspectors from the United States Postal Inspection Service to investigate the origins of the mail, which appear to be addressed to at least 25 residences or businesses in San Jose, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara.
Police are asking that anyone with information about this incident call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips may also be submitted anonymously through a free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.