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Over $20,000 counterfeit currency seized

Posted: Monday, Dec 23rd, 2013

The Lusk Police Department and the United States Secret Service Agency execute a search warrant on a local residence, recovering over $20,000 in conterfeit currency.

It is said, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is” and that is what occurred this past week to several Lusk citizens. On Dec.19 a search warrant was executed against a local man and over $20,000 in counterfeit one hundred dollar bills and $170 in counterfeit trade and Morgan dollar coins were seized by the United States Secret Service and the Lusk Police Department. The alleged suspect’s name has not been officially released as of press time.

The investigation began Dec. 13 when Sergeant Matt Smith was dispatched to the Fresh Start Conoco station where he recovered the first bogus bill. The bill was suspicious due to the fact that the currency was lacking a security strip and watermark. The following day, Dec. 14, Officer Doug Lytle was dispatched to the Post Office where a one hundred dollar bill was discovered and turned in by a customer and another one was found and reported from Decker’s Food Center. “A total of five one hundred dollar bills were found in local businesses from Dec. 13 through Dec. 15. The bills were being placed in conspicuous places in the businesses. The bills were left in the businesses and then picked up by another party. Two attempts were made to pass the counterfeit bills for goods or services and one was successful,” said Chief of Police Sean Dreesen. A customer at the Outpost Truck stop restaurant discovered one of the bills and then used that bill to pay for their meal. Dreesen contacted the Secret Service on Dec. 14. A Secret Service agent from Cheyenne arrived on Dec. 16 and the decision was made to monitor the situation and see if there would be additional activity. The following day, Dec. 17, the Secret Service contacted Dreesen and advised him that they had been contacted by the Bank of the West and a counterfeit bill had been discovered in a bank deposit from the Outpost. Dreesen retrieved the bill from the bank. Through further investigation, which included reviewing the surveillance video from two of the targeted businesses, the suspect was identified at the locations of where two of the counterfeit bills were found. This provided enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant.

The search warrant was drawn up on Dec. 18 and on Dec.19, Secret Service agents from Denver and Cheyenne arrived in Lusk to execute the search warrant with assistance from LPD. The bills recovered as a result of the search warrant all had identical serial numbers. “The search warrant was executed without incident. No one was injured. There was an arrest and the suspect is in custody at this time,” said Dreesen. The suspect is being held on a $5,000 bond and has been cooperative with the Secret Service agency during the interview process reports Dreesen.

For the complete article see the 12-25-2013 issue.

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