KEY LARGO (CBSMiami) – A sharp eyed clerk helped Monroe sheriff’s deputies catch a Hialeah couple were reportedly trying to pass phony $100 bills at several Key Largo business.READ MORE: Missing 15-Year-Old Emmanuel Sanchez Located Safely
A cashier at Mother Ocean Consignment at mile marker 99 called the sheriff’s office after a woman gave her $100 bill to pay for a purchase; the cashier recognized it was fake and gave it back to the woman.
The clerk told the sheriff’s office the woman got into a black Ford Ranger driven by a man and was headed south.
A detective spotted the truck in front of a hardware store at the mile marker 92.
He pulled in and asked the man behind the wheel, 70-year old Francisco Montes-Quinones of Hialeah Gardens, where his wife was. Montes-Quinones reportedly refused to answer.READ MORE: SpaceX's Dragon Cargo Ship On Its Way Back To Earth
He then asked Quinones if he had any money and if so, could he see it. Quinones opened his wallet, revealing a number of bills, including several that were a different color and had a different feel to them, according to the sheriff’s office. In checking the serial numbers, the detective noticed all the serial numbers were identical. More of the fake currency was later found above the sun visor of the truck, in an envelope.
As the detective questioned Quinones, the man’s wife, identified as 52 year old Mariela Carvajal-Perez, came out of the Island Décor store nearby. She was carrying a shopping bag.
In questioning the stores’s owner, she said Perez had just purchased an item using a $100 bill and had received $78.50 in change. She produced the $100 bill which was identical to the others found in Quinones’ wallet.
Both Quinones and Perez were arrested. Quinones was charged with possession of more than ten counterfeit bank notes. Perez was charged with uttering forged bills for her use of the fake money in the store.MORE NEWS: AAA: Florida Gas Prices Slightly Higher
More charges may be pending. Investigations are continuing into their connection with other reports of fake $100 bills passed at Upper Keys businesses in recent weeks.