Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Traffic accident leads to arrests in check forging

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — A deputy responding to a minor traffic accident in Boone County uncovered a multi-state check-forgery ring operating out of a Northern Kentucky motel room, authorities said Tuesday.

        “One suspect has indicated they have written hundreds, if not thousands, of bad checks over the past several months,” said Major Jack Banks, commander of Boone County Criminal Investigations. “I don't know how much money we are talking about.”

        A deputy was responding to another call when he came across a wrecked van in the 8300 block of Pleasant Valley Road in Burlington. Driver Jamie R. Brown, 33, no address available, and passenger Charles V. Mattucci, 34 of Toughkenamon, Pa., gave the deputy fake Kentucky driver's licenses, police said.

        Police said the two told them they were staying at the Knights Inn in Florence. When police arrived at the hotel, they said, they found Robert B. Alexander, 30, of Canyon, Texas, and Melisa Stanhope, 28, of Amarillo, Texas. Both had outstanding warrants for their arrest in connection with passing bad checks in Texas.

        Detectives secured search warrants for two hotel rooms and the van, where they said they found a laptop computer loaded with software for producing business and personal checks, two printers, and check paper.

        Mr. Brown and Mr. Mattucci are charged with carrying fake driver's licenses. Ms. Stanhope is charged with falsely identifying herself to a deputy.

        In addition to pending federal warrants for similar charges, the four face multiple charges in Boone County of possession of a forged instrument.


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- Traffic accident leads to arrests in check forging