BROWNSVILLE, TX — The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigations Unit arrested two individuals Monday after a vehicular chase led to $43,400 in counterfeit $100 bills.
SIU investigators attempted to make a traffic stop after a 2014 black Lincoln MKX with North Carolina plates failed to signal a lane change while driving westbound on FM 802 in Brownsville. The driver disregarded the investigators’ emergency lights and continued driving. The vehicle finally came to a stop at the Dana Road intersection. The passenger then exited the vehicle and ran into an empty field. An SIU investigator pursued and later apprehended him. As another SIU investigator approached the vehicle, the driver continued driving at about 70 mph, and a chase ensued. Investigators lost sight of the vehicle shortly after.
The vehicle was later spotted by a Cameron County deputy constable traveling on FM 106 in Harlingen. The driver again evaded law enforcement disregarding the deputy constable’s emergency lights. The driver later approached the Orphanage Road exit north of Combes while still being pursued by deputy constables and Cameron County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
The driver finally came to a stop about one mile west of HWY 77, exited the vehicle and proceeded to run on foot evading deputies. Deputies soon apprehended him and placed him under arrest.
The driver was identified as Lavarus Armstead, 27. The passenger was identified as Brandon Neville Smith, 33. Smith had disposed of a bag during the foot chase which was later found to contain $43,000 in counterfeit $100 bills. Armstead had in his possession $400 in counterfeit $100 bills and $300 in legitimate $100 bills. All counterfeit money had serial numbers that matched the legitimate bills.
Armstead was charged with evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, evading arrest or detention on foot and forgery.
Smith was charged with evading arrest or detention on foot and forgery. Both were jailed at the Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center in Olmito.