Report: Pair had more than $10,000 in electronics

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
CHINA GROVE — More than $10,000 in power tools and electronics tipped a Highway Patrol Trooper off Friday night shortly before two men were arrested.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office reported that 24-year-old Anthony Jamel Ellison and 22-year-old Kassim Anthony Matthews were charged after they “refused to provide any identifying documents.”
The trooper also found 33 American Express traveler’s checks on the front seat of the car and an additional 13 checks in Matthews’ possession, the report said.
The 2009 Kia was stopped about a mile south of Webb Road on southbound Interstate 85 at about 6 p.m.
The trooper called in Rowan County investigators after seizing the checks and met deputies at the Magistrate’s Office.
Deputies noted that some of the checks had the same serial number and “most were not bearing the initial endorsement,” the report said.
Authorities contacted American Express, which confirmed the checks were fake.
Deputies also contacted the Secret Service about the counterfeit currency.
The two New York residents were both initially charged with felony conspiracy to commit fraud, felony possession of counterfeit instruments, and resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer. Ellison, the driver, was also charged with speeding and operating a vehicle without a license.
They were each given $53,000 bonds.
Deputies then obtained a search warrant for the vehicle, where they found additional electronics and 32 more traveler’s checks and American Express gift cards.
Authorities reported the vehicle had an odor of marijuana, but no drugs were found, the report said.
Deputies found no sales receipts for any of the reported $10,846 in power tools and DVD players.
Matthews, 1208 Sterling Place, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ellison, 14 Hunterfly Plaza, Brooklyn, N.Y., were both charged with an additional felony possession of counterfeit instruments charge.
Both men were in jail Tuesday morning under bonds of $103,000 each.