Gophers football player released from prison

by Kamariea Forcier

Gophers football player Joseph O. Justice was released from jail Tuesday in Ramsey County after turning himself in Monday evening following charges of credit card fraud against he and a teammate.
The former defensive back was dismissed from the team June 7, the same day he was charged with two counts of felony credit card fraud and one count of theft stemming from an incident at Dayton’s Roseville store on May 24.
Gophers football player Billy D. Cockerham has been charged with one count of felony credit card fraud and theft in the same incident and is suspended from the team pending further investigation.
Two others, Tara M. Taylor and Sabrina Rosario, have been charged with credit card fraud and theft based on the incident.
Taylor is described as Justice’s girlfriend and Rosario is described as Cockerham’s girlfriend in the criminal complaint.
On May 24, both men were at Dayton’s, where Taylor was working in the juniors’ department. Justice and Adrian D. Ellis, a member of the Gophers track team who was not charged in the incident, selected clothing from the men’s department and brought it to the juniors’ department, according to the complaint.
But instead of taking the items to a sales counter, Justice and Ellis brought the clothes back to the men’s department.
Cockerham, who was in the juniors’ department and had spoken with Justice and Taylor, picked out several hundred dollars worth of clothing along with Rosario. Cockerham then went to the men’s department, where Justice gave him a Dayton’s charge card with someone else’s account number written on the back, according to the complaint.
Taylor then charged some of the clothing to the number written on the card, according to the complaint, but did not enter all of the clothing prices into the cash register.
The account number used was taken from a credit slip collected by Taylor, who admitted that she gave it to Justice, according to the complaint.
Cockerham and Rosario were stopped by Roseville police after they tried to leave the store with the clothing, according to the complaint.
Justice and Cockerham have been appointed a public defender and are scheduled to enter a plea in the case July 1.