MARIPOSA COUNTY — A response by deputies to the Tenaya Lodge on Wednesday led to the arrest of a guest for identity theft, possession of stolen property and meth, and outstanding warrants.
On Feb. 24, Mariposa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the resort in Fish Camp to investigate a report of possible forged checks.
Upon arrival at Tenaya Lodge, front desk managers informed deputies that a hotel guest had made a partial payment for his hotel stay of $2,500 with a check on Feb. 23. The guest then returned the following day and attempted to make an additional payment on his room and spa charges with a second check in the amount of $3,000. Hotel staff became suspicious and contacted the bank to verify the check, and were informed that the check was in fact fraudulent.
Detectives located the suspect, Jeffery Talamantes, 33, of Modesto, in his cottage room, still at the hotel. Inside the room detectives located items and evidence to support the fraud such as printers, laptop computers, digital signature pads, printed cashier’s checks from multiple banks, a falsified U.S. passport, a lists of names and social security numbers, blank check paper, 143 checks from multiple accounts / businesses / private parties, and $34,696 of pre-printed checks to multiple parties. The suspect was also in possession of a Smith & Wesson M&P replica airsoft pistol.
Deputies collected the evidence and arrested the check fraud suspect for multiple crimes.
Talamantes was booked into the Mariposa County Adult Detention Facility on charges of:
- 470(A) PC – Felony – Forgery
- 530.5 (A) PC – Felony – Identity Thefts
- 475 (A) PC – Misdemeanor – Possessions of Counterfeit, Unfinished Checks
- 496 PC- Felony – Possession of Stolen Property
- 11377(A) HS- Misdemeanor – Possession of Methamphetamine (Outside Warrant from Stanislaus County)
- 530.5 PC- Felony- Identity Theft (Outside Warrant from Stanislaus County)
He is currently being held on $100,000 bail.
Sheriff Binnewies would like to thank the Tenaya Lodge staff for their professionalism and diligence.
“The hotel staff responded appropriately and significantly assisted local authorities in catching up to the suspect,” said Binnewies. “Check fraud and fraud-type crimes occur at such a high frequency, yet by nature it’s difficult to investigate and prosecute. I am pleased with the hotel staff and our deputies who have put the case together and arrested the suspect. I’m confident our District Attorney’s Office will have a good case to present.”