Aggravated forgery charge leads to guilty plea

Published 7:15 am Friday, July 16, 2010

A 23-year-old man residing in Austin who was charged with aggravated forgery earlier this month after fleeing from the scene of an accident pleaded guilty Thursday.

Bernardo Zepeda-Gonzalez awaits a sentencing date. He has also been ordered to cooperate with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which handles deportations.

According to a criminal complaint, police were called on the evening of July 1 regarding a hit-and-run accident at the intersection of Fourth Street and First Avenue southeast. Dispatch notified officers that a Hispanic male had driven away from the scene, going west on First Avenue.

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Officers located the suspect vehicle a short while later in an alley between Third and Second streets southeast. The defendant got out of the vehicle and appeared drunk, with watery, bloodshot eyes, the complaint states.

The man gave officers a Minnesota ID with the name “Mario Alberto Meza” on it. He admitted it was a name he used for work, the complaint states. Zepeda-Gonzalez then admitted his true name and provided Mexican documentation to police.

With another officer helping to interpret, Zepeda-Gonzalez told police that he had left the scene because he was scared and he had no insurance.

Zepeda-Gonzalez registered a 0.14 blood-alcohol reading shortly after his arrest, the complaint states, which is nearly twice the legal limit.