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Man allegedly tried to use fake $50 bills

A Medford man is in jail after he allegedly tried to pay for an order of potato wedges with a fake $50 bill — not once, but twice.

Juvenal Adan Vega, 29, of the 1700 block of Louise Avenue in Medford allegedly went into Angelo's Pizza in Medford on Dec. 7 and tried to pay for the potato wedges with a $50 bill.

An employee used a special marking pen to confirm whether the bill was real. The pen indicated it was a forged bill, according to a police affidavit.

Vega allegedly tried to pay for the food using another $50 bill. The employee marked that bill with the pen, revealing it also was fake. Vega then allegedly fled on foot once he heard police had been called, the affidavit said.

Medford police tracked him down on Dec. 20 and arrested him.

A police officer who tried to remove Vega's identification from his wallet found a driver's license belonging to Martin Jiminez. A check made out to Jiminez for $1,200 was wrapped around the driver's license, according to a second police affidavit.

Police talked to Jiminez, who said he had lost the wallet in June. Jiminez said there was no reason for a $1,200 check to be made out to him.

Although Vega allegedly claimed Jiminez was his friend and he had planned to give Jiminez his wallet and driver's license back, Jiminez said he did not know Vega.

Still in jail on Thursday on $30,000 bail, Vega was indicted in Jackson County Circuit Court via television monitor on two counts of first-degree forgery, first-degree possession of a forged instrument, two counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument and two counts of identity theft.

He entered not guilty pleas on the charges. A pre-trial conference was set for Jan. 20.

Vega has a lengthy criminal record, Jackson County Circuit Court records show.

Dating back to 2004, Vega has been arrested or in court almost every year on assorted charges, including unlawful delivery, manufacture and possession of methamphetamine, felon in possession of a restricted weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, forgery, possession of a forged instrument, altering or removing a firearm identification number, assault and possession and delivery of heroin.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.