Maryland Transportation Authority Police had plenty of possible names for the man they stopped while driving on I-95 near Aberdeen for a falsified temporary tag registration.
He could have been Quiteh Suah, whose Pennsylvania license he produced for officers, or he could have been one of the more than 10 people whose checks, social security cards or credit cards police allegedly found in the car.
But an FBI fingerprint check dispelled all those possibilities, according to court documents, and led to Phillip A. Ketter, 33 of Charlotte, North Carolina, facing more than two dozen forgery, drug possession and theft charges.
Ketter is being held without bond at the Harford County Detention Center and faces a cumulative maximum of more than 109 years in jail. Maryland court records do not list an attorney representing him.
According to charging documents file in Harford County District Court, a police officer in an unmarked car pulled Ketter over at around 3:15 p.m. Jan. 29 for a fake temporary tag. 30-day registration. The officer saw that the tag information was not filled out and that the date was allegedly altered.
When Ketter pulled to the side of the road, he presented the officer with a Pennsylvania driver’s license for Quiteh Suah and said he did not have paperwork for the car, the documents state.
The officer allegedly smelled marijuana and searched the car, the documents state, uncovering four ecstasy pills and a small bag of suspected crack cocaine. Then he saw a U.S. Treasury check on the floor of the driver’s side addressed to a different name, according to documents.
The officer popped the trunk and found an envelope containing “two social security cards, four credit cards and 39 personal checks issued to random victims," the documents state. The checks displayed bank routing numbers, addresses, names and account numbers, and the checks were dated from July of 2019 through this January.
At least three people contacted by police said those checks had been stolen and cashed, or attempted to be cashed, documents state. Their bank accounts had also been hacked.
All told, police allegedly found 46 checks from different people and companies totaling approximately $24,890 in the car, along with four cellphones and a laptop. Many of the checks, the documents state, were stolen from mailboxes in North and South Carolina.
The trunk also held a printer, and multiple counterfeit bills were found inside it — three $100 bills were “printed on the face of the bills,” the document states.
The car, too, was allegedly taken without permission from a rental agency in North Carolina. The Ford Fusion had a tracker in it, and was being monitored since it was taken, documents state.
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Correction: An early version of this article misidentified the agency making the arrest. It has been updated to reflect accurate information.