NEWS RELEASE #: 16-088
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested two men Tuesday afternoon for passing counterfeit bills at a Sarasota Wal-Mart.
Loss prevention officers contacted detectives around 12:25 p.m., to report that the suspect, later identified as Sebastian Medina, DOB 01/20/86, passed $150 in counterfeit bills in the electronics department before attempting to pass another $100 at the front register, where it was declined. Management detained Medina until detectives arrived. Further investigation revealed Medina had also visited the store on Sunday with another male. Surveillance video captured the duo uttering counterfeit bills before leaving in a grey Nissan. Detectives ran the tag on the vehicle and tracked it to a rental car out of Miami. Tactical Unit deputies located the vehicle on U.S. 41, where they took Gustavo Mingo, DOB 06/03/65, into custody. Search warrants were later executed at their hotel room and in their vehicle where detectives seized an additional $4,000 in counterfeit bills as well as more than $13,000 in valid currency.
Both men admitted to making more than 20 purchases at various locations in Sarasota. They traveled to the United States from Argentina carrying $20,000 in counterfeit money. Both men are charged with three counts each of Uttering a Counterfeit Bill and are being held at the Sarasota County Jail without bond. The investigation is ongoing.
Special thanks to the U.S. Secret Service who aided in this investigation.