PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives arrested two Tampa men on 22 felony charges after trying to pass counterfeit checks at Charlotte State Bank in Port Charlotte. Antonio M. Lovette, 37, of 914 E. Humphrey Street and Elmer Joseph McGuirt, 29, of 901 East Seward Ave., were arrested.

CCSO received a call at 1:40 p.m.Friday from a bank manager when a man tried to cash a $1,966 payroll check on a local business in Charlotte Harbor. The subject produced a Kentucky ID card with the name of Michael Green. The teller became suspicious and the manager called CCSO. The man became nervous when the teller stalled the transaction and he finally left the bank. He was observed getting into the passenger side of a black Honda parked next door at Sonny’s restaurant and drove north on U.S. 41. The man identifying himself as Greene left the check and fake Id with the teller.

A BOLO was issued and at 1:54 p.m.and a road patrol deputy saw the vehicle at the Pik N’ Run Shell gas station, 829 Tamiami Trail, and detained the subjects who were identified as the driver Lovette and his passenger McGuirt. A search of the car found an envelope sticking out of the headliner above the driver’s seat that contained 18 other fraudulent payroll checksfrom various businesses along with anotherfake ID from Kentucky with a different name which had McGuirt’s photo.

Both were arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail and each was charged with 19 counts of Possession of Counterfeited Payment Instrument; and one count each for Grand Theft, Uttering a Forged Check, and Possession of a Blank, Forged, or Stolen Driver’s License or Identification Card. McGuirt was additionally charged with an outstanding felony Hillsborough County warrant for robbery. He remains in jail on no bond. Lovette posted a $55,000 bond and was released Saturday.