Woman reaches plea deal for forgery

A local woman who confessed to using stolen credit cards obtained during an armed robbery at the Marshall Town Center has pleaded guilty to forgery.

Frances T. Gasca reached a plea agreement with the state and was released under the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services.

The state dropped three other charges – ongoing criminal conduct, identity theft and unauthorized use of credit card – as part of the agreement. She originally pleaded not guilty to the charges in October.

Forgery is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of at least $750. However, as part of the plea agreement, the state will recommend a suspended sentence and a suspended fine. Gasca will be jointly and severally liable for restitution.

Gasca was arrested Sept. 26 after using a stolen credit cards in Marshalltown and several stores at Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines.

The credit cards were taken during an armed robbery outside of the mall in which a woman’s purse was taken at gunpoint. One of the men charged in the robbery, Andrew X. Ramirez, accompanied Gasca on the shopping spree.

According to a police report, Gasca confessed to using the stolen cards and also said Ramirez told her he had robbed the woman at the mall.

Ramirez is charged with first-degree robbery, going armed with intent and possession of firearms by a felon. He has pleaded not guilty and a jury trial has been set for Dec. 10.

Last week police arrested Jose E. Morales for first-degree robbery after collecting evidence that he acted as the other man involved in the armed robbery.

Gasca will be sentenced on Jan. 13.