Deputies seized a cache of funny money and arrested two Miami-Dade County residents Thursday on charges of passing counterfeit $100 bills.
Francisco Montes-Quinones, 70, and wife Mariela Carvajal-Perez, 52, were arrested outside the Island Decor shop at mile marker 92, where Carvajal-Perez had just received $78.50 in change after making a purchase with a fake $100, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office reported.
Nineteen counterfeit bills were seized from the suspects and their black pickup truck.
Detective Barney Sajdak spotted the pickup after hearing a police-radio report that a couple tried to pass a phony bill at the Mother Ocean Consignment shop at mile marker 99 on Key Largo.
"A sharp cashier" at the Key Largo store helped foil the crime by refusing the phony bill and calling the Sheriff's Office, Deputy Becky Herrin said.
Several of the bills seized had identical serial numbers, a sign they are counterfeit. A machine check at Capital Bank in Tavernier confirmed the fakes.
Two agents from the U.S. Secret Service arrived to help investigate the case.
Both defendants remained in the Monroe County jail at press time Friday under $8,000 bonds on felony charges. The husband is charged with possessing false bank notes and the wife with uttering them. Additional charges could be filed after further investigation of previous reports of counterfeit money being passed.
A 20-year-old New York man was arrested after he reportedly punched a Sheriff's Office deputy trying to quell a fracas at a Key Largo campground Thursday.
Matthew J. Corrow of Tupper Lake, N.Y., "threw several punches" while resisting arrest and hit Deputy Gil Gonzalez in the mouth, a police report says.
Gonzalez and another deputy went to the Kings Kampground to break up a domestic dispute between two sisters, reportedly over Corrow's affections. Corrow was "intoxicated" and became aggressive when deputies placed Madison Kelly, 20, under arrest for misdemeanor battery.
Corrow remained jailed under $16,000 bond Friday.