When the parishioners break badly | Local News
Police in the city of Spain arrested a man from Alcalde on April 9, after trying to cash a fraudulent check for $ 400.
Constable Ladislas Szabo was dispatched at 5:15 p.m. to the Del Norte Credit Union about someone trying to cash a forged check. When he arrived, he spoke to Jessica Ortiz, the bank manager, who told him the person was still behind the wheel.
Szabo parked in front of the car, which was occupied by the driver, later identified as Fredi Jose Adan Gutierrez, 24, of Velarde; Estrella Montoya, 20, Amarillo, Texas; and Leonard Pacheco, 26, from Alcalde.
Ortiz came out of the bank and pointed to Pacheco, sitting in the backseat of the car and said he was the one trying to cash the fake $ 400 check. Szabo turned his back to the car and when he did, Pacheco started to get out of the car. Szabo was able to grab him and handcuff him, then put him in the back of his patrol car.
Ortiz told the officer that the car entered the drive-thru and that a forged check written in the name of Dashawn Anthony W. Lucero was presented, along with the man’s ID card.
Moritz Lopez, the cashier at the window, recognized the check because it was flagged as a suspicious account.
On March 29, Pacheco cashed a fake check for $ 600 and on April 1, he cashed a check for $ 1,000 and another for $ 1,700 at the Guadalupe Credit Union. During these transactions, a Guadalupe Credit Union cashier recognized him from an identity card provided by Pacheco in a previous transaction.
The checks used by Pacheco at the Guadalupe Credit Union were ordered from a check printing company called extravaluechecks.com. They had information stolen from an account belonging to the church in the Valley of Spain. Police called the church and spoke with Carmen Payne, the treasurer, who told the officer that Pacheco had been a member of the church.
“According to Ms. Payne, Mr. Pacheco gained access to his office and stole the church banking information from one of the actual checks, and copied the account and routing numbers onto the fictitious checks,” he said. Szabo wrote in the incident report. “Mr. Pacheco ordered the fictitious checks with the church’s account information and used those checks to complete the fraudulent transaction.
Pacheco was complicit in another incident on April 9 at the Guadalupe Credit Union in which Tracy Williams 29, of Velarde, deposited four fake checks written to her to her account. The checks totaled $ 1,955.
According to Szabo’s incident report on the April 9 incident, Pacheco had again ordered checks from the extravaluechecks.com website, but this time Lucero’s bank account information was printed on them.
“The fake checks were then flagged as fraudulent and triggered a cyber alarm when they appeared at the bank,” Szabo wrote.
When he detained Pacheco at the Del Norte Credit Union, several bank account deposit slips fell out of his pocket in the back of the car.
“Detective Z. (Zack) Wright saw two checks similar to the one Mr. Pacheco attempted to cash,” Szabo wrote. “I picked up the check and found that one was made payable to Lowes for $ 200.60, the second was blank but all three were printed by the same company.
Ortiz handed Szabo the check and the ID Pacheco tried to use. Pacheco told him that someone gave him the stolen ID.
Ortiz told Szabo that the driver, Gutierrez, was not acting normally. Wright and Isaiah Anaya spoke to him and Szabo asked if he was aware of the fraudulent activity. He denied knowing anything.
Szabo asked Gutierrez if he had anything to know in his car and he allegedly told the officer he had Suboxone strips in his wallet. He gave Szabo permission to retrieve his wallet from the car and the officer found six Suboxone strips and four Subutex pills in it.
Gutierrez reportedly told Szabo that he did not have a prescription for the drugs, so he was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.
Pacheco was arrested for forgery and fraud and it was learned that he had an active warrant through the probation office.
Pacheco was charged with counterfeiting – manufacture or modification ($ 2,500 or less) and fraud (over $ 500 but not more than $ 2,500). He had a status hearing on May 19, before Judge Joseph Madrid at the Spanish Court of First Instance.
Gutierrez was referred to the ReRoute program and subsequently released.