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Man caught for check forgery in White Rock

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By Sarah von Sternberg

Eric Sanchez, 29, was arrested May 15 while attempting to cash a stolen check at the drive thru of Los Alamos National Bank in White Rock.

A criminal complaint was filed against Sanchez, of Albuquerque, for forgery, possession of a controlled substance, larceny, open container and two counts of delivery or manufacture of drug paraphernalia.

The arresting Los Alamos police officer, Gabriel Nieto, explained the situation in his report. Around 5:03 p.m., Nieto was dispatched to LANB in White Rock because an employee reported that there was an individual trying to cash a stolen check. Sanchez was in the drive-thru with two other passengers. Nieto said, “I asked where he got the check and he stated he sold a lady a piano over the weekend.”

Nieto asked all parties to step out of the vehicle and when conducting a pat down on one of the passengers, Nieto found a pen with tape and a socket at the end of it. “I observed a burn residue in the socket as if it was used to smoke something from it,” said Nieto.

While the officers and subjects in question were waiting for a secondary officer to arrive, an elderly woman approached

Nieto and claimed the check Sanchez was trying to cash was hers. Nieto then spoke with the elderly woman and the bank employee who had reported the incident.

“When (the bank employee) saw the check trying to be cashed, she noticed the name was not normal and the check did not look right,” so the employee called the police and the owner of the check, according to Nieto.

The check owner reported that on May 13, she put four checks in the mailbox and the next day they were gone. The woman had written a check to Doctors without Borders for $2,250. The check in question was made out to Eric Sanchez, but Nieto explained, “Behind the name it looked as if something was previously written and erased.” The check owner reported the checks as stolen the day she noticed they were missing.

In addition to the forgery and possession, a quarter-full bottle of vodka was also found in the backseat of the car.

Nieto arrested Sanchez and read him his Miranda rights. Once the car was taken into the possession of LAPD, drug paraphernalia, possibly related to heroin was found in the car, as well.

The preliminary examination is set for June 29 and will determine is there is enough evidence to go to trial.