Arrests close book on check fraud ring
Post Independent Staff
Three men were arrested by Garfield County sheriff’s deputies Friday in connection with a suspected check fraud ring that’s been running for at least two years.
Police pulled over Julio Alberto Toco-Olivares, 25, address unknown; Faustino Testa-Arceo, 27, of Los Angeles; and Salvador Camparan-Orozco, 29, address unknown, as they drove west on Interstate 70 west of Rifle at 11:53 a.m.
Each was arrested on charges of conspiracy, theft, forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument and criminal impersonation.
The trio is suspected of defrauding banks in Pitkin, Garfield, Eagle and Mesa counties during the past two to three years, Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson said Tuesday.
“It evolved over a period of a long time,” Wilson said, “and once we got a pattern, everything clicked.”
The three men stand accused of printing out fake checks, usually writing them for amounts below $1,000, then cashing them at banks across the region.
The three men are suspected of cashing $7,000 worth of phony checks on Thursday and Friday at banks in Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Carbondale, and Basalt, Wilson said.
After the men were taken into custody and brought to the Glenwood Springs Police Department, a throng of detectives from Eagle to Mesa counties descended on the department to question the suspects.
“As this case has developed over the last few months, information has been shared between agencies,” Wilson said.
Ironically, many of the detectives from departments in the region already had planned to go to the Glenwood Springs Police Department Friday to share information on the case.
“It really was fortuitous,” Wilson said of the arrests.
Wilson credited the staff of the Bank of Colorado, 901 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs, with helping to crack the case.
He said a Glenwood Springs police detective visited the bank a week before the arrests to train tellers in how to spot counterfeit checks.
As a result of that training, some of the tellers became suspicious when the men cashed their checks Friday, so they called police.
“The bank personnel picked up on the problem right away,” Wilson said. “They need to be commended; they did an outstanding job.”
The three men were advised of their charges in court on Tuesday.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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