HERMISTON, Ore. - Three people are facing charges after police say one tried to cash a counterfeit check, and two led officers in a 12 mile chase.
On November 19th around 2:15 in the afternoon, Hermiston Police responded to the Cashco on Highway 395, on reports that a woman inside tried to cash a counterfeit check. When officers arrived, they arrested 39 year old Susan Steele, from Irrigon and saw a gray sedan erratically leaving the parking lot.
Police say they tried to pull over the car, but the driver continued to flee southbound on Highway 395 toward Stanfield, through Echo, and then onto Reith Highway. Officers say the chase ended when the driver's car started having mechanical issues.
When police approached the car, they arrested the driver, 26 year old Luis Fuentes, from Hermiston, and the passenger, 33 year old Catarino A. Montez.
Police arrested and booked Fuentes into the Umatilla County Jail for five counts of first degree forgery, four counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, three counts of identity theft, attempting to elude in a vehicle, tampering with evidence, theft of mislaid property, reckless driving and recklessly endangering. Hermiston Police and Union County deputies performed a search warrant on Fuentes last week. He had warrants for his arrest for second degree theft by deception out of Baker County, and failure to appear in court out of Umatilla County.
Police arrested and booked Montez into the Umatilla County Jail for possession of Methamphetamine. Montez also had warrants out of Umatilla County.
Officers arrested Steele for unlawful possession of methamphetamine, forgery in the first degree, and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Oregon State Police and Stanfield Police also assisted in the incident.