SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Nine people were arrested in Scottsdale on suspicion of selling forged Super Bowl tickets for thousands of dollars, police said Sunday.

The investigation into the forged tickets began when a Massachusetts couple reported unwittingly buying forged tickets for $2,500 from a man on a Scottsdale street Saturday, Sgt. Mark Clark said in a news release.

Bicycle officers responded to the area and spotted a potential suspect. Clark said the man lied about his name and was arrested for false reporting.

Clark said the man was not the one who sold the tickets to the Massachusetts couple, but turned out to be part of the group that had the forged tickets.

Shortly after the first arrest, Clark said plainclothes detectives spotted a man matching a description given by the couple, and the victims then positively identified him.

Police arrested the man, who had four forged tickets on him.

Clark said the arrest led them to two rooms and a car at a nearby Motel 6, where they found dozens of forged Super Bowl tickets and marijuana, and arrested seven more suspects.

One suspect was trying to eat five forged tickets when police found him, Clark said.

In all, Clark said police confiscated 50 forged Super Bowl tickets and more than $6,000 in cash.

Those arrested could face charges including false reporting, forgery, fraud schemes and marijuana possession, Clark said. All were released pending the completion of the investigation and formal charges.

AP-ES-02-03-08 1254EST


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