AP NEWS

Police: Counterfeiters Nabbed In W-B Twp.

April 1, 2019

Two women from New York passed more than $1,000 in counterfeit U.S. currency at two stores in Wilkes-Barre Twp. on Saturday, according to township police.

Officers responded to Wegman’s on Highland Park Boulevard at about 4:40 p.m., police said.

Two women, later identified as Mariana Mercedes Mendez and Tressa Walker, had purchased gift cards with $900 in counterfeit $100 bills, according to police.

Police located the women and two men in a Nissan Altima and conducted a traffic stop on Highland Park Boulevard.

Officers found $7,000 in counterfeit $100 bills in an envelope inside the vehicle, police said. They also found other counterfeit currency and a small quantity of marijuana, according to police.

Police later learned that Mendez and Walker had allegedly passed $300 in counterfeit currency at Wal-Mart in the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Marketplace.

The two men were released pending investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, according to police.

Mendez, 28, and Walker, 24, were charged with two counts each of theft by deception, a first-degree misdemeanor.

They were arraigned and sent to Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail each. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for April 11.

— ERIC MARK