BOCA RATON, Fla. — Three teenagers had a plan to buy marijuana Sunday night with counterfeit money, police said. But the ill-fated scheme backfired, leaving two of them clinging to life.
They used a scanner to make $1,250 in counterfeit money, then bought a quarter-pound of marijuana from a Boca Raton drug dealer, police said.
But the 19-year-old dealer, Thomas Fenech, recognized the fake money, grabbed his AK-47 assault rifle and ran out of his house, blasting 21 rounds into a black Mustang and wounding two of its occupants, police said.
It happened about 8:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Fenech's apartment in the 300 block of Northwest 19th Street.
John Addison and Andrew Hernandez, both 18, remain in critical condition in Delray Medical Center. Addison was shot in the back, Hernandez in the face, police said.
The driver, Tyler Doyle, also 18, suffered minor injuries from shattered glass, police said.
Police said Fenech, whose criminal history includes two arrests on drug charges in Pinellas County, had two accomplices: Anthony Proios and Jared Tuck, both 18-year-old freshmen at Florida Atlantic University, about a mile away.
All three were arrested early Tuesday morning.
Hernandez made the deal quickly on Sunday, and left Fenech's second-floor apartment in a hurry, police said. It wasn't long before Fenech realized he'd been had, police said.
"Proios began to count the money when he realized it was counterfeit," according to the arrest report. "He handed the bill to Fenech, who was already having a bad day. Proios said Fenech 'just snapped.'"
Fenech rushed outside, fired two shots into the air and began firing into the Mustang, police said, hitting Hernandez, the front-seat passenger, and Addison, who was in back.
Police still are searching for the assault rifle.
Fenech returned home Monday just as police were serving the search warrant, and initially told investigators he was cooking dinner when he heard gunshots and saw the Mustang speed off. He said he didn't see anyone shooting the gun.
"He acknowledged the counterfeit currency and admitted that marijuana is occasionally sold from his residence," the police report said.
He denied knowing anything about the rifle, detectives said.
Tuck told police he and Proios broke the gun down and tossed it in a marshy area off the Bee Line Highway near Riviera Beach.
The FAU students are barred from the campus indefinitely, officials said.
Fenech is charged with three counts of attempted murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle, and is in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond. Proios and Tuck are charged with tampering with physical evidence and accessory after the fact and are in county jail in lieu of $70,000 bond each.
The investigation, including into the counterfeit money, is ongoing, police said. Additional charges may be filed.
Staff Researcher Barbara Hijek and Staff Writer Alexia Campbell contributed to this story.
The original news report stated that a scanner from Northwood University was used to make the bogus bills. Northwood said it is unclear that a scanner from the school was used and this update reflects that change.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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