A New York couple are facing felony charges for allegedly using fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to enter the Buffalo Bills wild card game against the New England Patriots.
The couple, Amber and Michael Naab, 34 and 37, were arraigned in Orchard Park City Court on Tuesday evening, each charged with one count of criminal possession of a second-degree counterfeit instrument, said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn at a press conference. Wednesday. The charge is a Class D felony, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
Flynn said the couple allegedly obtained a blank vaccine card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, then filled in their name, date of birth, a fake Pfizer lot number and indicated they had been vaccinated at a CVS store. .
The district attorney said the couple had been on the Bills’ radar beforehand because they allegedly posted on social media that they had entered previous games with a fake vaccine card. During the third quarter of Buffalo’s blowout 47-17 win over New England on Jan. 15, Flynn said officials from the team and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office approached the couple on their behalf. and questioned them. The Buffalo Bills then told authorities they wanted them prosecuted.
“I readily admit it’s not the crime of the century,” Flynn said. “I hate being the guy who says, ‘I need to send a message.’ I don’t like being that guy, but you can’t do this There’s a law, we have laws in the books.
“It’s a slap in the face for the other 70,000 who did the right thing,” Flynn added.
USA TODAY has contacted the Buffalo Bills about the incident.
The Buffalo Bills have required all fans 12 and older to be fully vaccinated to enter Highmark Stadium since October 31. In December, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that makes it a crime to fake vaccination cards.
Flynn said he suspects the Naabs aren’t the only people who have come to Bills games this season with false evidence of vaccinations, and likely thousands at sporting events across the country. In October, former radio host Kimberly Ray posted on Twitter that she had entered the stadium for the Bills’ game against the Miami Dolphins and that her fake vaccination card had not been verified.
Flynn said he probably wouldn’t send the Naabs to jail, but he would respond to the Bills’ request to prosecute them. They are due in court on February 22.