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$1,500 forged check lands man in jail

A former prison inmate has landed behind bars again after he allegedly tried to cash a $1,500 check that had been stolen from a mailbox and forged.

Jaime Gonzalez Castro, 27, of the 3800 block of Francine Court in White City, has been charged with identity theft for possessing the check that belonged to a woman, according to an indictment.

Castro also faces nine more identity theft charges for possessing stolen checks from at least seven additional people and the Choice One Property Management company, according to the indictment and probable cause affidavits.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday and has a pre-trial conference hearing scheduled for May 29 in Jackson County Circuit Court, court records show.

On May 7, Castro allegedly attempted to cash the $1,500 check at Novedades La Mexicana, a small gift shop on West Main Street in Medford that offers money transfers, the affidavit said.

On May 8, Castro tried to cash another stolen and forged check at Umpqua Bank on East McAndrews Road in Medford, but the man who owned the checking account had closed it after he realized the check had been stolen, affidavits allege.

Medford police responded to the scene and chased Castro down as he fled from the bank. They caught him and took him into custody, the affidavits said.

Police found more than 10 stolen checks in Castro’s car, the affidavits said.

Investigators contacted the woman who owned the check that Castro tried to cash at Novedades La Mexicana. She said it was stolen from her mailbox, according to the affidavits.

Castro admitted to investigators he knew the checks were stolen and forged, the affidavits said.

He is being held in the Jackson County Jail without bail on a parole violation, according to Thursday jail records.

In March 2016, Castro was convicted of methamphetamine possession and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 26 months in prison, according to court documents.

Castro’s other past convictions include fourth-degree assault, delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of Oxycodone, unlawful possession of body armor and fleeing or attempting to elude police, court records show.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

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