Three Arrested in Corpus Christi as Counterfeit $100 Bills Discovered in Theft Scheme


Victoria County Sheriff’s Tip Leads to Confrontation: Three Individuals Apprehended by Nueces County District Attorney’s Agents Amidst Cross-State Crime Pursuit

Agents from the Criminal Interdiction Unit drew weapons on Tuesday afternoon, responding to a Victoria County Sheriff’s Office tip. The three detained individuals are suspected of engaging in a spree of criminal activities spanning multiple states.

Initially suspected of arriving in the area to acquire a consignment of narcotics destined for North Carolina, the suspects surprised authorities by distributing counterfeit $100 bills across various businesses nationwide.

Mike Tamez, Supervisor of the District Attorney’s Criminal Interdiction Unit, expressed astonishment at the rapid and unexpected developments in the case.

“We are aware that the currency had been manufactured and handed to an individual inside the vehicle in North Carolina,” he stated. “Originally possessing a bundle of $100 notes, they journeyed from North Carolina to South Texas. They engaged in identical activities during their travels—circulating counterfeit bills across various businesses in different cities along the route.”

Tamez indicated that a minimum of nine establishments fell victim to the scheme, including several outlets within La Palmera Mall. The purported counterfeiters targeted the Ulta store, utilizing their fraudulent $100 bill for a purchase. Similarly, they employed the same tactic at the Crocs store. However, their luck took a downturn at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. An attempt to purchase a chocolate-covered apple with counterfeit money failed due to the store’s inability to provide change for the hundred-dollar bill.

Sandy Juarez, the store manager at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, emphasized the widespread impact of such crimes, explaining, “This situation creates difficulties for everyone else because it leads to price increases, prompting customer complaints, but these circumstances are the cause.”

Just across Moore Plaza from South Padre Island Drive (SPID), one of the suspects entered Pet Supplies Plus and acquired a $24 bag of dog food. The $100 bill was scrutinized and initially appeared genuine, resulting in the suspect departing with $76 in change. However, the store faced losses both in terms of finances and merchandise. Michael Walker, Manager of Pet Supplies Plus, voiced his frustration: “I believe they should face charges and serve prison time. For those of us who diligently work 8 to 10 hours daily to make a living, it’s simply unjust.”

The investigators from the District Attorney’s Criminal Interdiction Unit (DA’s CIU) are urging other business owners to review images of the suspects carefully. This is based on their belief that additional victims have been affected by the same ploy. Currently, the suspects are held in Nueces County Jail, facing various state charges, including charges related to organized criminal activity.

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