Crime - Sacto 911

Man arrested in sting operation accused of selling counterfeit RT fare passes

Jesse Wardlaw
Jesse Wardlaw Booking photo, Sacramento Reginal Transit District Police Services Departmetn

A 35-year-old man has been arrested, accused of selling counterfeit Sacramento Regional Transit fare passes to an undercover officer during a sting operation.

Jesse Wardlaw was taken into custody Wednesday by RT’s Police Service Department.

Regional Transit police say the agency has seen an increase in counterfeit fare on the system over the past several months. After interviewing numerous people with counterfeit fare passes, officers developed information that Wardlaw was selling booklets of daily passes, according to a Police Services Department news release. He reportedly had given his cell phone number to riders and would meet them to sell 30 days’ worth of passes for $25. The individual tickets retail for $6 for a daily pass, authorities said.

Wednesday, and undercover officer called Wardlaw and met him at the Florin Road light-rail station. The undercover officer purchased a monthly booklet of passes for $25, then other officers took Wardlaw into custody. Police said Wardlaw had four other booklets of daily passes on his person and $500.

Regional Transit has lost an untold amount of revenue to people who are selling counterfeit fare passes, authorities said. They remind riders to purchase tickets to ride public transit only through fare vending machines and authorized RT outlets. Riders caught with fraudulent fare are cited, with fines starting at $160.