Forged Check Leads To Arrest Of Two Local Women

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Two Payson women were arrested after one allegedly tried to cash a forged check at a local credit union, Monday afternoon.

"We received a call from the Arizona State Savings and Credit Union around 3 p.m. that a subject there was trying to cash a check that they believed was a forged check," Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said. "Upon arrival, we contacted Tia Nottingham."

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Wearing protective gloves, Payson Police Sgt. Rod Mamero, searches a suspect's purse to find two syringes and an empty plastic baggie. The items tested positive for methamphetamine residue.

Nottingham, 21, was attempting to cash what bank staff suspected was a forged check.

Nottingham was taken to the police station where a handwriting analysis was performed and it was determined that she had forged the check.

According to Engler, Nottingham also was in possession of a syringe and a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine.

Nottingham was arrested earlier this month on two counts of drugs for sale.

"She was arrested for forgery and possession of drug paraphernalia," Engler said.

Nottingham was with two other individuals, riding in a red Toyota Tacoma truck.

Police searched the vehicle and its contents and discovered an unprescribed narcotic and drug paraphernalia inside the purse of Charmaine Renee Perry, 24.

Sgt. Rod Mamero discovered two syringes and a small pink pill he suspected to be the narcotic, Oxycontin.

"We will send it to the lab for confirmation," Engler said. "We have reference books that we can identify them with, but the actual completed confirmation comes from the Department of Public Safety lab in Phoenix."

Because many individuals in possession of syringes claim to be diabetics, officers are taught ways to screen them to see if their claim is legitimate.

"Almost daily," Engler said officers hear people claim they are diabetic. "We weed through that pretty fast."

"We always test for drug residues," Engler said, "because it is not unlawful to have drug paraphernalia unless it does contain residue. Of course our officers are trained and can visually see it 99 percent of the time.

"(Perry) was charged with possession of a narcotic drug and paraphernalia," Engler said.

Both women were taken to the Gila County jail.

Nottingham was released to her mother, and Perry was released on her own recognizance Monday night.

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