Tazewell, Va. – Two people are in custody for allegedly defrauding gambling devices at a local store.
Major Harold Heatley of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a call to the Stop N Save on Governor G.C. Peery Highway in Bluefield April 1. He said the clerk called 911 after two men attempted to cash in tickets they obtained from machines at the store.
Heatley said Christian Omar Ares-Hernandez, of Duluth, Georgia and Jose Santos-Portales-Escobar of Honduras were using a piece of currency covered with plastic that had hooks attached to it. They would slide the currency into a machine and once a purchase was registered and they obtained tickets use the hooks to pull the money out.
The store clerk became suspicious and refused to pay when the men attempted to cash out and called police who arrived before the men departed. Both are charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, petit larceny and attempting to obtain money by false pretenses from gambling.
Both men are being held in the Southwest Regional Jail without bond. Heatley said the sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant April 2 and seized the vehicle the two men were traveling in.
They discovered $3,400 in cash in a sock, more hooks, lock picks and key blanks. The Major said all the information obtained by the sheriff’s office was sent to the Commonwealth Attorney’s office.