Three arrests made for counterfeiting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NATCHEZ — Three people have been arrested in connection with a counterfeit money ring that has targeted businesses on both sides of the river.

Christopher L. Young, 27, 502 W. Stiers Lane, Damon Hargrave, 30, 5 Horseshoe Circle and Geovannia R. Logan, 25, 15 Ruby Drive, are each charged with one count of forgery and are being held at the Natchez City Jail without bond until arraignment, Police Chief Mike Mullins said Tuesday.

Mullins said Hargrave is also charged with possession of marijuana.

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While Young and Logan were in possession of four counterfeit $100 bills, Hargrave was in possession of five counterfeit $100 bills, Mullins said. Counterfeit money cases fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service, and agents interviewed the suspects Monday.

Mullins said Young, Hargrave and Logan allegedly spent the counterfeit bills on small, inexpensive items at businesses in Natchez and Vidalia, and received real change. The purchases were made over the past week.

“We’ve had (counterfeit cases) before, but only with $20 bills,” Mullins said. “These are the largest bills we’ve seen in these type cases locally.”

Mullins said investigators are pursuing a suspect who might be responsible for printing the bills.

Lt. Craig Godbold said the counterfeit bills are actually bleached $1 bills, which pass the counterfeit detection pen test with flying colors.

Mullins said the counterfeit bills have a slightly different texture, and anyone who comes in contact with a suspicious bill should contact the Natchez Police Department at 601-445-5565.