A total of five men have been booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of drug possession and counterfeiting. Defendants Phong Le and Willie Lozano were reportedly taken into custody after store owners called police due to their acting suspicious. It was later found that the pair was attempting to use counterfeited gift cards.
San Mateo Police Department officers reportedly arrived on the scene and spotted the men sitting in a parked Mercedes. Law enforcement personnel said they soon learned that Le and Lozano both had outstanding warrants. A search of the vehicle uncovered more than 10 pounds of marijuana, a stack of counterfeited gift cards and evidence leading officers to believe the pair was actively involved in identity theft.
The SMPD said they immediately reached out to the Secret Service and FBI as part of standard protocol. Contacting federal agencies is required on commercial counterfeiting cases, they said.
Several days later they executed an arrest warrant on a third suspect. Defendant Ryan Angles was taken into custody and booked on weapons charges and possession of items used to counterfeit identities. Two more suspects were arrested the following week. Le’s bail was set at $20,000 whereas Angles’ bail was set at $100,000. Both men were successful in hiring a bondsman to help get them out of jail. They are due back in court in early March. The other three remain in custody on undisclosed bail amounts. All have indicated they will plead not guilty.
Anyone who believes they may have additional information pertaining to the crimes committed by any of these individuals are asked to contact the San Mateo Police Department.