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Madisonville PD arrests three in counterfeit check scam

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 4:42pm

It was business as usual at the Wells Fargo Bank Monday afternoon in Madisonville until bank employees became suspicious of a woman and two men trying to cash several checks.

"They sensed something wasn't right so they told their bank manager who was on the phone immediately trying to verify that check with whoever the check is written on and she was able to determine that it was a bogus," said Madisonville Police Chief, Chuck May.

Chief May says when officers arrived the trio took off.

Within 30 minutes James Wood, Mario Alanis and Jessica Rodriguez were all caught and charged with evading arrest but it's what officers found inside their car and hotel room that led to forgery charges.

"We were able to inventory the car and have it towed and we recovered another 100 counterfeit checks and fictitious IDs. that they were using to pass these forged checks," Chief May tells us.

A big bust for Madisonville PD in more ways than one.

"This appeared to be a lot bigger than what we thought and it turns out there is a major investigation going on in Houston on this group, more than just these three that we arrested here, passing these counterfeit checks all throughout the state."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been called in to help assist.

And while the investigation is far from over Chief May says he's just glad his officers could help solve a small piece of the puzzle.

"Hopefully this will take down a large portion of this ring or help in some form or fashion."


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