Terrance Barimah, 26, was given permission to attend a ceremony to attend a ceremony to lay a headstone at the grave of his father back in Georgia.
Barimah, of Lawrenceville, Ga., was to be sentenced in Boise on July 8, with the ceremony to take place a week or two after that.
Because it typically takes six weeks for the federal Bureau of Prisons to assign an inmate to a particular prison, Chief U.S. Judge B. Lynn Winmill gave Barimah permission to attend the ceremony and then self-report to prison. Winmill said he based his decision on the fact Barimah, who had been out of custody since December, had attended all of his required hearings up to that point and because federal prosecutors did not object.
When he did not appear for the sentencing hearing, Winmill issued a warrant for his arrest. Two weeks ago, a federal grand jury meeting in Boise issued an indictment on the charge of failing to appear for sentencing. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
Barimah pleaded guilty in April to possession of device-making equipment. He faced up to 15 years in prison.
Barimah obtained stolen credit card account numbers and while in Idaho in early April, encoded blank pre-paid debit cards with the stolen account numbers. The bogus cards were then handed out to nine co-defendants from Georgia who racked up nearly $50,000 in fraudulent purchases from 17 different stores in the Boise valley.
When he was arrested Oct. 6, Barimah had 41 gift cards purchased from the stores. They were given to him by the other defendants for his share in providing the cards used to carry out the fraud. He was also caught with a laptop computer and an electronic card writer used to encode the bogus cards.