Miami pair arrested with 19 fictitious driver’s licenses, along with passport cards, fraudulent checks, and cash

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Michael Dewayne Middleton, 46, and Joseph Patrick Suarez, 49, both of Miami, were arrested yesterday after a traffic stop on I-75.

An Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy assigned to the ACTION Unit conducted a traffic stop for following too closely at about 7:30 p.m. yesterday. Middleton was reportedly the driver of the car and told the deputy that his girlfriend rented the car for him. He did not have a valid driver’s license and was identified by his Florida ID card. He has an active warrant out of Sumter County with no bond.

Middleton and his passenger, Suarez, reportedly gave different stories about their travel itinerary in interviews.

An ASO K-9 team gave a positive alert for narcotics to the exterior of the vehicle, which led to a probable-cause search. In the headliner of the vehicle, a deputy reportedly found a window punch used to break car windows; 147 blank checks in bank envelopes; 18 filled-out but uncashed checks; 19 fictitious driver’s licenses from Florida, Maryland, and Washington; and U.S. passport cards. Many of the names on the fictitious driver’s licenses matched names on the checks, and the checks totaled $15,685. Most of the addresses listed on the checks were invalid addresses. The deputy also reported finding a State of Florida hologram and a State of Maryland hologram that were unused and ready to be printed onto a fictitious identification card. $11,200 in cash, wrapped in rubber bands inside a band envelope, was also found.

The photographs on the fictitious driver’s licenses reportedly resembled Suarez, and two of the envelopes had “Joe” and “Jo” written on the outside. The search also reportedly produced a marijuana cigar.

Post Miranda, Middleton declined to speak. Suarez reportedly said he had no knowledge of the items found in the car before asking for a lawyer.

Since all items were within reach of both occupants of the car, both men have been charged with fraudulent possession of five or more identification cards, possession of tools for producing counterfeit driver’s licenses, possession of fraudulent checks, possession of a forged note, possession of stolen driver’s licenses, theft of property under $20,000, forgery of a check, possession of burglary tools, and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

Middleton has seven felony convictions (three violent) and three misdemeanor convictions (none violent). He has an active warrant out of Sumter County for marijuana possession and driving without a valid license. He has served one state prison sentence of 18 months for robbery charges out of Palm Beach and was released in 1998. Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $202,000.

Suarez has ten felony convictions (none violent) and nine misdemeanor convictions (none violent). He has a pending felony charge in another county. Judge Jaworski set bail at $202,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • These idiots are one of the reasons we all pay higher prices for things we need. Sounds like the highway interdiction team scored a nice one. 202k bail is great too!
    Good job!

    • You forgot to mention Biden is the main reason we pay higher prices for everything. These guys don’t help either.

  • More golden geese for the law skool grads. Why don’t cops go on strike until 3 Strikes is passed? The rest of us are able to defend ourselves fine.

  • I must be one day old. If “driving too closely” is how ASO spells “driving while black with an out of town tag” then I was born yesterday.

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