Two arrested for check forgery

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By Katie Zerr

Two men are in custody after passing one forged check and trying to pass another Sunday, Jan. 15, at two Mobridge businesses.

The men, identified as Hugo Flores, 26, and Gustavo Gonzales, 45, were arrested on forgery charges after the manager of Paylessfoods called police Sunday, reporting an individual trying to purchase items with a check from Kary Lumber in Mobridge. Police Chief Mike Nehls said officers arrested one of the men in the store and the other was arrested during a traffic stop a short time later. They are facing charges of forgery, forged documents and no driver’s license.

“We believe there may be other checks that have been passed by these men in Mobridge,” Nehls said. “We are not sure if this is tied to the same group of people who were involved in a similar incident in May, and we are still looking into that.”

He said a group of individuals travel from town to town seeking a local business and banking institutes on which to forge the payroll checks. They then purchase items in a local store known to cash payroll checks.

On Wednesday, May 11, four men cashed payroll checks in Mobridge, written on check blanks from U.S. Bank, with a local business heading. This crime also involved incidents in Aberdeen where payroll checks were cashed and in several North Dakota cities.

That case is still open.

Nehls said the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation is involved in the investigation of the incident.

– Katie Zerr –

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