Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee Highway Patrol Arrest One of Shelby County's Most Wanted on Fraud Charges

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | 03:32 pm

NASHVILLE--- The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Identity Crimes Unit and the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID) arrested two Memphis men, including one of Shelby County’s most wanted suspects, on Monday in Memphis. Investigators have been working with the state Department of Treasury for approximately one year on cases involving cells throughout Tennessee who were printing and cashing fraudulent checks containing the state’s routing and account numbers.


On Thursday, December 12, the Treasury Department sent investigators a list of checks that were cashed at Wal-Mart money centers in the Memphis area. Sergeant Matt Sipes, Trooper Brad Simpson, and Homeland Security Investigator Joey Hudgins were able to identify individuals involved in the fraudulent check scheme by reviewing store surveillance video.


Further investigation led the agents to a suspect who acted as a “middle man” in the case. Detectives acted as perpetrators and met with the suspect on Monday afternoon to become involved in the plan. The suspect then went to several locations, including a site to receive the checks, while agents on the ground tracked the individual and THP provided aerial support.  The suspect was taken into custody without incident at the Kentucky Fried Chicken near the Regency Inn on Third Street in Memphis.


Investigators returned to the Regency Inn where they found two individuals attempting to destroy evidence. After receiving consent to search the room, detectives discovered various cell phones and seized approximately one gram of powder cocaine and over $1,000 in U.S. currency.


Two suspects were arrested during this operation. Derrick Deon Martin, the “middle man”, was arrested and charged with criminal impersonation, possession of schedule II drugs, criminal simulation, forgery (2 counts) and identity theft. Martin, 34, of Memphis, was on Shelby County’s most wanted list with numerous outstanding violent felony warrants. Marvin Smith, 34, of Memphis was charged with possession of schedule II drugs (cocaine) with intent to deliver.


Both suspects were booked into the Shelby County Jail. Booking photos may be obtained from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.


The Jackson Police Department assisted in this investigation.


The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure that our state is a safe, secure place in which to live, work and travel; enforce the law with integrity; and provide customer-focused services professionally and efficiently.