|Trinity Standard - Local News
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Forged checks return to Trinity
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – What could be the same gang of Hispanic men who passed forged checks in 2010 hit a local business last week with phony checks worth $4,826. According to Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones, the two incidents followed the same pattern with groups of Hispanic men passing payroll checks purportedly issued by Trinity Steel. During the incident reported Sept. 3, 2010, the gang cashed 32 bogus Trinity Steel checks at First Community Bank and First National Bank of Trinity. The total stolen at that time was almost $20,000. “This appears to be an organized criminal activity and may even be directly tied to gang activity,” Jones said. “We’ve had reports that this is how some street gangs get money.” During the latest incident, the suspects passed seven payroll checks at the Marie Lovell Pawn Shop on Main Street in Trinity. They also reportedly passed two bogus checks at a Riverside business in Walker County on the same day. Jones said he issued a warning to police and sheriff’s departments throughout the region about the gang and is currently working with investigators with the Walker County Sheriff’s Department on the case. Jones said the men are believed to be traveling in a white Nissan Altima or Maxima. Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to contact the Trinity Police Department at 594-2505 or the Trinity County Crime Stoppers at 642-2334. Meth charge In other police activity last week, a 22-year-old Trinity woman was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance on Wednesday, May 9. Karen Hale was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond on May 11. She and Charles Alexander, 30, of Trinity also were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and were released after each promised to pay a $300 fine. Jones said Hale and Alexander were arrested as the result of a tip from a local citizen who witnessed what he believed to be drug activity in his neighborhood. The suspects were subsequently stopped for a traffic violation in front of the Trinity Community Center on Robb Street. Shortly after making the stop, officers found hypodermic needles, straws and spoons, all associated with drug use, and arrested the two on drug paraphernalia charges. Hale was subsequently charged with possession of methamphetamines after she removed a pouch containing the drugs from her vagina. Jones said that while the traffic stop was underway, a video camera mounted in a patrol vehicle captured images of the suspect removing a bag from her bra and inserting it into her pants. When the woman was confronted with this information later, she surrendered the drugs. Evading charge filed Shortly after midnight on Thursday, May 10, officers arrested Shanga Jones , 29, of Trinity on a misdemeanor evading arrest or detention charge. He was subsequently transferred into the custody of the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department. Jones said the incident began when he, Pct. 1 Constable Woody Wallace and Officer Daniel Archer were returning to the Trinity Police Department following an unrelated investigation. “We were driving back to the station and checking the alleys behind the buildings as we drove. That is something that we routinely do,” Jones said. While checking the alley behind the Western Auto Store on Robb Street, Jones said a man on a bicycle “darted out” an took off down the street and down the alley by the Trinity Post Office. Jones said because of the man’s behavior, the officers gave chase and pursed the man to a residence near the intersection of Elm and Elizabeth streets. There the man got off the bike and jumped a fence into the backyard of a residence. When officers surrounded the yard, Jones said the suspect surrendered.