Three charged with possessing fake checks

one Tasered for resisting, officers say

March 23, 2011

COSTA MESA — One man was Tasered on Tuesday after police said he and two other men tried to cash fake checks at a local Money Mart.

Compton residents Jovani Espinoza Estrada, 24, and Juan Gomez Martinez, 32, along with Roberto Monterrosas-Seveda, 22, of Buena Park, were booked on suspicion of burglary, conspiracy and possessing fraudulent checks Tuesday night after a brief chase with police.

Authorities said the men were picked up by an unidentified fourth suspect in their respective cities and driven to Santa Ana, where they were given the fake checks and fake Mexican Matrícula Consular identification cards.


About 6:55 p.m., they were then driven to the Money Mart at 2346 Newport Blvd., where they tried to cash the checks that were worth less than $1,500 altogether, said Costa Mesa Police Lt. Mark Manley.

When employees called police, the men scattered.

The department's police helicopter spotted the men and directed officers to all three as they went in separate directions, Manley said.

One of the men resisted and was Tasered, or shocked, Manley said.

Police are investigating whether the men were hired to cash the bogus checks, or were in on the alleged scam.

—Joseph Serna

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