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Three wanted for check cashing scheme

Cheap Smokes is offering a reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of, from left, Melvin Warrick, James Washington, and Juniel Frederic who have been charged for cashing fraudulent checks in December. 

Three individuals are being sought by Farmington Police Department for allegedly cashing fraudulent checks at a local check-cashing store.

Frederic Juniel, 44, of Columbia and Melvin Warrick, 41, of Columbia, have been charged with three counts of forgery. James Washington, 27, of Boonville, has been charged with two counts of forgery.

According to the probable cause statement, on Jan. 3, Farmington Police were dispatch to Cheap Smokes, located on Weber Road in Farmington for a report of individuals passing bad checks.

The court document states that on three different dates in December, the three subjects came into the store together and cashed checks that appeared to be from Johnson Tree Service and Landscaping out of Springfield.

According to the report, after the checks were cashed, the store employees called Regions Bank, the bank on which the checks were written, and discovered the account had been closed.

The document states that the first suspect, Juniel, cashed three checks on Dec. 23, Dec. 24, and Dec. 27 totaling $2,694.15. The second suspect, Warrick, cashed three checks, two on Dec. 23 and one on Dec. 27 totaling $2,012.62. The third suspect, Washington, cashed two checks on Dec. 23 totaling $1,225.10.

According to the report, criminal checks show that Washington has a warrant for probation violation and is a person of interest in a crime that occurred in O’Fallon. Warrick had no criminal history, but his driver’s license is revoked. Juniel has an active warrant for failure to appear on a prior possession charge.

The three suspects are currently wanted by authorities. The suspects’ bond has been set at $5,000 each.

Anyone with information on the location of these individuals is urged to contact Farmington Police Department at 573-756-6686 or the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department at 573-431-2777. Cheap Smokes is offering a reward of an undisclosed amount for information leading to the arrest of these men.

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616, or at mmcfarland@dailyjournalonline.com.

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