A couple, accused of making fraudulent transactions while staying at a Texas hotel, was arrested by the local police. The man and the woman were found with stolen stimulus checks and drugs in their hotel room.
As per the statement from the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, the deputies were called to the Holiday Inn, located in the 21400 Block of Fairfield Place Drive in Cypress on Monday. An employee of the Texas hotel told the officers that they received a phone call about a fraudulent charge that had been made on a credit card by the man and the woman who were staying at the hotel.
Stimulus Checks That Didn't Belong to Them
When the deputies went to the room where the suspects were staying, the man and the woman identified themselves as Maritza Aleman and Dustin Whitman. After the search in the room, police found 44 grams of methamphetamine and five grams of Valium and further investigation revealed that the couple was also hiding stimulus checks that didn't belong to them.
The U.S. government issued checks of up to $1,200 to eligible adult residents of the country as part of a $2 trillion stimulus package to help people during the Coronavirus pandemic. The households were also eligible to receive an additional $500 per child under the age of 17 years.
Couple Under Investigation
In addition, Constable Mark Herman said the officers found that the woman suspect had provided a false name and was positively identified as Heidi Hubbard. Whitman, 35 and Hubbard, 39, were arrested and taken to the Harris County Jail.
They are now facing charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, while Hubbard was charged with failure to identify. However, as of now it is not clear whether the couple faced additional charges for the possession of stimulus checks.
Texas was among the states that received the most stimulus payments, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While California, with 16.9 million people, received about $27.8 billion payments, Texas, with 12.3 million residents, received $21.6 billion.
In terms of the newly reported criminal case, Whitman's bond was set at $15,000, while Hubbard's bond has been set at $10,000. Both the suspects will appear in court on Wednesday, May 27.