What to Know
- Chase began when officers noticed suspects weren't wearing seat belts
- Police say fake credit cards were thrown out of SUV during pursuit
- Suspect said they stopped because they didn't want the car to 'blow up'
Two Miami men who tossed counterfeit credit cards out of an SUV fitted with an illegal gasoline container as they led police on a high-speed chase are facing charges after officials say the pair were involved in a large fuel theft operation.
Noel Gonzalez, 27, and Eduardo Dubed-Falcon, 26, were arrested on numerous charges Tuesday including possession of a vehicle with an illegal container, trafficking in counterfeit credit cards, credit card forgery, and organized fraud, according to arrest reports.
Gonzalez was also charged with fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, and driving without a valid driver's license, while Dubed-Falcon was also charged with battery on a police officer and tampering with physical evidence.
According to the reports, the incident began with a simple traffic stop in the area of Southwest 127th Avenue and Southwest 88th Street, when officers noticed Gonzalez and Dubed-Falcon not wearing seat belts.
Officers stopped the Ford Expedition that was being driven by Gonzalez and when they approached the SUV, they smelled a strong odor of gasoline, the reports said.
At one point, Dubed-Falcon struck an officer and the suspects fled in the SUV, the reports said. The suspects led officers on a high-speed pursuit, weaving in and out of heavy traffic and running at least one red light, the report said.
During the chase, officers noticed several items being thrown out of the passenger side window of the SUV. The items turned out to be more than 20 counterfeit credit cards, the reports said.
The SUV finally stopped in the area of Southwest 137th Avenue and Southwest 73rd Terrace, where the suspects got out with their hands up, the reports said. Inside the SUV, officers found a "concealed illegal fuel bladder" that was estimated to hold several hundred gallons of fuel, the report said.
Dubed-Falcon said they "stopped because they did not want to crash and blow up," the reports said.
When detectives searched Gonzalez's home, they found a Chevy Avalanche that was also outfitted with an illegal fuel bladder, the reports said. Officers also found 128 additional counterfeit credit cards as well as $4,400 in cash, the reports said.
Gonzalez and Dubed-Falcon remained behind bars Wednesday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.