Two Suspects Arrested for Committing Check Scam via Instagram; Possibility of Additional Victims a Concern

Detectives from the 4th District – Patrol Investigations Unit have charged Nassir Eggleston, age 24, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Julenni Mora, age 25, of Circle Gate Drive in Germantown, with multiple fraud, forgery, and theft offenses related to a check scam that they ran via Instagram.  Investigators have identified five female victims of this scam (four Montgomery County residents and one Prince George’s County resident) dating back to 2018 with a total loss of approximately $6,400.  Detectives are concerned that there are additional victims of this fraud.

The Police Department was made aware of this potential check scam in November 2019.

  • During the investigation, detectives determined that Eggleston would use his Instagram account “unlvckynas” to post photos and videos of himself with cash.  He would contact female Instagram account users and pay the users to use their accounts to commit the scam.

 

  • Eggleston would then use the female accounts to post photos of bank account statements with large account balances and state how easy it was to make money through “currency exchange.”

 

  • He would reach out to the Instagram users’ friends (both male and female) and ask a potential victim if she/he wanted to make money by participating in the “currency exchange.”  If the person wanted to participate, Eggleston would tell the victim that as part of the exchange, he would send the victim a check and the victim would need to deposit it in his/her bank account.

 

  • Once the victim deposited the check in her bank account, Eggleston would tell the victim to withdraw an amount of money from the check and send it to him via a cash app or online money transfer system or send cash.  Eggleston would tell the victim that she could keep the remaining balance of the check.  After a couple of days, the bank would notify the victim that the check was fraudulent and the victim was responsible for the check’s amount.

Investigators determined that the money the victims were sending to Eggleston was being sent to Mora’s bank accounts both directly (victims were sending the money to Mora’s cash app) or indirectly (the money was transferred to Mora’s account by Eggleston).

Detectives obtained warrants for Eggleston and Mora’s arrest on June 19, 2020.  Mora was arrested on June 25 and Eggleston was arrested on September 23.  Both suspects have been released from custody on bond.

Anyone who believes that he/she has been a victim of Eggleston and Mora’s scam is asked to contact investigators at 240-773-5541.

How to Spot, Avoid and Report Fake Check Scams (Federal Trade Commission)

Nassir Eggleston

Julenni Mora

Suspect Arrested for Possession of Handgun and Drug Offenses during Traffic Stop in Fairland Area of Silver Spring

Officers from the 3rd District have arrested and charged Jefferson Ayala-Castillo, age 21, of Columbia, Maryland, with criminal offenses to include possession of a handgun, possession of a handgun by a prohibited person due to prior criminal convictions, possession of marijuana and THC with the intent to distribute those drugs, and traffic offenses to include driving on a suspended Maryland driver’s license.

On October 23 at approximately 12:15 am, a 3rd District officer was on routine patrol when he observed a driver commit a moving violation at the intersection of Castle Boulevard and Briggs Chaney Road.  The officer stopped the vehicle and identified the driver (and sole occupant) as Jefferson-Ayala Castillo.  The officer observed marijuana in Ayala-Castillo’s lap and smelled the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

The officer determined that Ayala-Castillo was not permitted to drive as he had a suspended Maryland driver’s license.

As Ayala-Castillo exited the vehicle, an assisting officer observed an empty gun holster in the pocket of the driver’s side door.  A bullet also fell out of Ayala-Castillo’s pocket.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a loaded handgun in a bag on the driver’s side floorboard.  Officers also found THC packaged for distribution, marijuana, and ammunition in the vehicle.  Other items indicative of drug distribution were located on Ayala-Castillo and in his vehicle.

Ayala-Castillo was transported to the Central Processing Unit and was released on bond.

**A mugshot of Ayala-Castillo will be added to this release once it becomes available.

 

Detectives Investigating Robbery of Woman Walking Dog in Downtown Silver Spring

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 3rd District are investigating a robbery of a woman that occurred as she was walking her dog in downtown Silver Spring.  Today, detectives are releasing video surveillance of the two suspects and are asking anyone with information about this robbery to come forward to the Police Department.

On September 30 at approximately 4:42 p.m., a 31-year-old female was walking her dog in the 1200 block of Fidler lane when two suspects approached her, grabbed her, and stole her handbag.

Surveillance video from an area business captured the two suspects as they ran away after committing the robbery.

Anyone with information about these suspects or robbery is asked to call the 3rd District Investigative Section at 240-773-6870.  Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers by phone: 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), online, or via the Crime Solvers app.  Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest in this case.

 

Detectives Investigate Fatal Motorcycle Collision in Colesville Area

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) are investigating a fatal collision involving a motorcyclist that occurred yesterday evening in the Colesville area.

On Friday, October 23, at approximately 8:20 p.m., 4th District officers and Fire and Rescue personnel responded to Norbeck Road at Llewellyn Manor Way for the report of a serious collision involving a motorcycle.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that a 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 motorcycle was traveling west on Norbeck Road approaching Llewellyn Manor Way.  A 2007 Toyota Prius was traveling on Llewellyn Manor Way and attempting to cross Norbeck Road to enter Northwest Branch Recreational Park. For reasons still under investigation, the motorcycle and the Prius collided in the intersection.

The motorcyclist, identified as Christian Richardson, age 24, of Dumbarton Drive in Rockville, was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.  Richardson succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

The driver of the Prius, identified as Tatiana Ogundeko, age 22, of Rushland Court in Waldorf, and an adult female passenger were not injured in the collision.

This collision remains under investigation.  Anyone with information regarding this collision is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.

 

 

Suspect Arrested for Armed Robbery of White Oak Gas Station

Officers from Montgomery County Department of Police – 3rd District arrested Spiro Stafilatos, age 33, of an unconfirmed address, for the armed robbery of a gas station located in White Oak.

On Friday, October 23, at approximately 3:45 a.m., 3rd District officers responded to the Shell Gas Station located at 11150 New Hampshire Avenue for the report of an armed robbery. Officers determined the suspect, later identified as Stafilatos, entered the Shell Gas Station Dash-In and concealed merchandise in his sweatshirt. The employee confronted Stafilatos and instructed him to return the stolen merchandise. The employee recognized Stafilatos from a previous incident in the store. When the employee attempted to retrieve the stolen merchandise from Stafilatos, he brandished a knife and threatened the store employee.

The store employee retreated behind the counter and retrieved a metal pole. The store employee was able to successfully get Stafilatos out of the store. Later, Stafilatos returned to the store with a metal trash can lid and pounded it against the door. The employee held the door closed to prevent Stafilatos from entering. Eventually, Stafilatos fled the scene with the stolen merchandise.

The incident was captured on the store’s surveillance camera.

Officers responded to the area to look for the suspect and located Stafilatos near the intersection of Lockwood Drive and New Hampshire Avenue. Officers located a knife on Stafilatos.

Major Crimes detectives responded to the scene to continue the investigation. Stafilatos was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged with armed robbery and first-degree assault.

**Note: A mugshot for Stafilatos is not yet available **