State Police: Gang ties, a chase and fake $20 bills make for a wild afternoon

State Police: Gang ties, a chase and fake $20 bills make for a wild afternoon

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WVUE) - A man with alleged gang ties and a woman, both from Texas, were arrested for several offenses Thursday after state troopers found them in possession of counterfeit money after a wild chase, according to Louisiana State Police.

The arrests came after troopers tried to stop a Mercedes for a traffic violation on I-10 in West Baton Rouge Parish. Police said the driver, 31-year-old Mike Rodriguez of Martindale, Texas, refused to stop, exited I-10 and traveled southbound on LA Highway 1. He then crossed the median and began traveling southbound in the northbound lanes. He then made a U-turn in the grassy shoulder area and began traveling northbound in the grass.

A trooper was traveling northbound in the right-hand lane of LA Highway 1 next to the Mercedes when it suddenly reentered the roadway and struck the trooper's unit, causing minor damage.

After the collision, Rodriguez and a female passenger, 22-year-old Brianna Martinez of Manor, Texas, fled the vehicle on foot but were quickly caught. Police said a search of the car yielded $940 in counterfeit $20 bills.

During the course of the investigation, troopers learned that Rodriguez is a member of the "Tango Blast" gang located out of Texas. The Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division, West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office and Secret Service assisted in this investigation.

Rodriguez faces charges of improper lane usage, reckless operation, resisting an officer, flight from an officer, driving without a license, monetary instrument abuse, and for several felony warrants out of Texas.

Martinez was arrested for resisting an officer and monetary instrument abuse.

Both were booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail.

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