Police Crack Counterfeit Ring in Forrest City

JUNE 1, 2005 - Posted at 7:46 a.m. CDT

FORREST CITY, AR - Three suspects have been arrested in a counterfeiting scam that has unfolded in Forrest City in the past month.

Even though more bogus bills continue to surface at some businesses, most of the businesses targeted by counterfeiters are liquor stores.  The three arrests stem from fake money that counterfeiters apparently tried to pass at one store known as Southview Liquor Store.

Forrest City police have arrested 30-year-old Willie Smith, Jr. on a first degree forgery charge.  Also arrested were 20-year-old Leon Drone, Jr. of Marianna and 21-year-old Brandon Cochran of Forrest City.  Drone and Cochran are also charged with first degree forgery.

Investigators spent most of May working on the case, which has seen several fake $20 and $100 bills circulating throughout Forrest City.  Police have released a list of several serial numbers on bills that are known to be counterfeit.  They include: EB20065184D, EC65248652B, EA07194033A, EH23455339A, AC39851572A, AH26814299B, and EB15770475B.

Forrest City police say additional arrests are expected.