July 29, 2015

Two charged with counterfeit money

Two Miami men are in jail today charged with possessing several thousand dollars in counterfeit money.

Sgt. Jason Madnick and Deputy Cody Kerns responded to the Circle K gas station at the 99 mile marker at 9 p.m. Tuesday because the clerk discovered someone had passed a fake $20 bill when paying for a soft drink. The officers reviewed video and discovered the man who passed the fake bill was a passenger in a black Honda four door; he was wearing a sleeveless black shirt, black shorts with a green stripe on the side and black shoes.

About an hour later, Sgt. Madnick was southbound when he saw the same car in the parking lot of a pizza restaurant at the 98 mile marker. He pulled in to check it out. The passenger was wearing the same clothing as in the video.

Sgt. Madnick called for backup officers and then knocked on the window of the vehicle. The driver was identified as 19 year old Rafael Dominguez. There were two others in the car. The passenger was identified as 20 year old Rolando Rodriguez. A 16 year old girl was in the back seat. She said she was Dominguez’ girlfriend.

Upon questioning, Dominguez admitted to having counterfeit money in the center console of the vehicle, below the stereo. A total of $2,720 was found in that location. Further investigation revealed the group had been traveling throughout the Keys stopping at convenience stores and using the bills to buy small things. There were a number of small items in the car they purchased, including sodas, juice bottles, dog treats and chewing gum. There was also a separate rolled up bundle of real currency in the driver’s side door totaling $477 – presumably the change from the small transactions they had completed using the counterfeit money. A small amount of marijuana was found in the door as well.

Both men were arrested. They were charged with counterfeiting with intent to defraud, possession of more than 10 counterfeit bulls, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of marijuana. The girl was not charged. Her parents were contacted and they made arrangements for her to be picked up.

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