PORT CHARLOTTE — Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives arrested two Tampa men on 22 felony charges after they tried to pass counterfeit checks at Charlotte State Bank & Trust, 1100 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte. Arrested were Antonio M. Lovette, 37, and Elmer Joseph McGuirt, 29, both of Tampa. CCSO received a call at 1:40 p.m. Friday from a bank manager when a man tried to cash a $1,966 payroll check on a local business in Charlotte Harbor. The subject produced a Kentucky ID card with the name of Michael Green. The teller became suspicious and the manager called CCSO. The man became nervous when the teller stalled the transaction and he finally left the bank. He was observed getting into the passenger side of a black Honda parked next door at Sonny’s restaurant and drove north on U.S. 41. The man identifying himself as Greene left the check and fake ID with the teller.
A BOLO was issued and at 1:54 p.m. a road patrol deputy saw the vehicle at the Pik N’ Run Shell gas station, 829 Tamiami Trail, and detained the subjects, who were identified as the driver, Lovette, and his passenger, McGuirt. A search of the car found an envelope sticking out of the headliner above the driver’s seat that contained 18 other fraudulent payroll checks from various businesses along with another fake ID from Kentucky with a different name that had McGuirt’s photo. Both were arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail, and each was charged with multiple crimes. McGuirt was additionally charged with an outstanding felony Hillsborough County warrant for robbery. He remains in jail on no bond. Lovette posted a $55,000 bond and was released Saturday.
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