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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Man Arrested Again in MTA Counterfeit Case

November 15, 2000

LOS ANGELES — For the second time in a year, Los Angeles police have arrested 30-year-old Pedro Sotelo on suspicion of counterfeiting thousands of Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus passes, MTA officials said Tuesday.

Sotelo was arrested last Thursday by detectives who had him under surveillance. A search of his apartment later turned up several hundred bogus passes. Police said they found printing plates and high-speed production equipment capable of making up to 10,000 passes a month.

The suspect was arrested along with two women last December for allegedly manufacturing and distributing fake passes, the MTA said. He was prosecuted and put on probation.

Police estimate that each year counterfeit rings cost the MTA more than $2 million in lost revenue.

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