The couple, Amber and Michael Naab, 34 and 37, were arraigned Tuesday night in Orchard Park Town Court, each charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said in a press conference Wednesday. The charge is a class D felony, which carries a maximum seven year prison sentence.
Flynn said the couple allegedly got a blank Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine card, and then filled in their name, date of birth, a fake Pfizer lot number and put down they were vaccinated at a CVS store.
The district attorney said the couple had been on the Bills' radar beforehand as they allegedly had posted on social media that they had gotten into 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 in their seats and took them in for questioning. The Buffalo Bills then told authorities they wanted them prosecuted.
"I readily admit this is not the crime of the century," Flynn said. "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."
"It's a slap in the face to the 70,000 others 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 Oct. 31. In December, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a law that made it a crime to fake a vaccine card.
Flynn said he suspects the Naabs aren't the only people who have gotten into Bills games this season with fake proof of vaccination, and likely thousands have at sporting events across the country. In October, former radio host Kimberly Ray posted on Twitter that she had gotten into the stadium for the Bills' game against the Miami Dolphins and her fake vaccine card wasn't checked.
Flynn said he likely wouldn't send the Naabs to prison, but he will fulfill the Bills request to prosecute them. They are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 22.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bills fans arrested for fake vaccine cards to get into playoff game