New York State, Erie County, and the Buffalo Bills announced in September that all guests at Highmark Stadium would need to present proof of vaccination to enter events. While the enforcement has been spotty at best, at least one couple was charged following the Bills’ Wild Card win over the New England Patriots.
Amber and Michael Naab of West Seneca were arraigned this week in Orchard Park Town Court, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said in a press conference Wednesday. Each were charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. The charge is a Class D felony, which carries a maximum seven-year prison sentence, but Flynn has said he is likely not going to send them to prison.
Both Naabs were on the team’s radar, per the district attorney, because they had previously posted on social media about using fake vaccination cards to enter the game. Flynn said the pair allegedly obtained a blank Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine card, filled in their names and date of birth, entered a fake Pfizer lot number, and put down that they were vaccinated at a local CVS pharmacy.
During the third quarter of the game, the couple was approached in their seats by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and members of the team. After questioning, the team elected to prosecute.
“It’s a slap in the face to the 70,000 others who did the right thing,” Flynn said, while noting he’s sure they aren’t the only people who attended the game with a forgery. “I hate to be the guy that 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 got laws on the books.”
The couple’s next court date is February 22.