CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A recent drug bust in Craighead County led to some funny money, with deputies arresting one man.
Captain Justin Rolland with the Craighead County Sheriff's Department said they recently began an investigation in the area of the 2001-block of County Road 906 after learning about some possible drug activity.
"Possible drug investigation began at that location probably about three weeks ago," Rolland said. "Yesterday afternoon, deputies applied for and were granted a search warrant for that location. Around 8 p.m. Monday night, deputies went to that location to serve that warrant. There, they searched a couple of different properties that were listed on the search warrant and some drug paraphernalia, as well as possible marijuana, was found."
Rolland said the drug paraphernalia wasn't the only thing deputies uncovered in their search.
"There were several people there, and a subject was taken into custody that had a parole violation of a warrant for him," Rolland said. "Later that evening as they were searching him, they found a considerable amount of counterfeit cash on him."
Rolland said it's part of a new trend they've been seeing in counterfeit money that's developed over time.
"In the past, it seemed like this was very prevalent with $100 bills or $50 bills," Rolland said. "But it seems like in the past year or so, we've seen more $20 and even as low as $10 and $5. So, it's getting harder for people to catch that when an individual passes cash like that."
Rolland said people in the public who deal with cash on a daily basis must slow down and examine what they're being given.
"The problem with the counterfeit cash, a lot of times the clerks and the individuals that are receiving that money at the cash register, they get busy. There may be a whole lot of people waiting to get checked out and so, what we ask is that the public that is in those type positions, just take your time, look and feel the cash that you're receiving," Rolland said. "The problem we see, a lot of times these individuals who are passing this counterfeit cash, what they'll do is let's say they're going to buy a $100 item. They'll pay for that item with cash with maybe two $20 bills that are real. And the rest of the bills are fake. It's possible what a clerk could do is look at that and it's harder for them to catch that. So, just slow down and be careful when they're accepting cash like that."
Rolland said fake money is something that seems to come and go, but never goes completely away.
"It's a reoccurring problem, it takes place and then it seems to die out some and then it increases again and I don't have an explanation for that. Law enforcement agencies interact with these types of individuals during investigations such as this," Rolland said. "This happened to be a drug investigation. During this drug investigation, we encountered an individual who was in possession of $260 worth of fake $20 and $10 bills. And so, a lot of these type of crimes with the counterfeit money, the drugs, and the thefts, they all go hand in hand. So, once you're dealing with a certain group of individuals, a lot of times you'll see these things like the counterfeit cash."
Rolland said they believe more arrests will be made in this case.
"We do anticipate some more arrests, this investigation is still ongoing," Rolland said. "Like I said, this investigation has been ongoing for about three weeks. During this three weeks, as you know during an investigation that goes on that long, obviously there is information that's gathered during that entire time. And so, when that happens a lot of times, other arrests are pending."
Rolland recommends anyone who believes they're being passed fake bills to stop the transaction immediately.
"Cancel whatever transaction has taken place there," Rolland said. "Contact your local law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agents will come out and look at it and view any type of video surveillance that the store may have and try to identify the person that's passing it. And then obviously take possession of that counterfeit cash."
If you have information about this case or suspect that you've been the victim of counterfeit money, contact the Craighead County Sheriff's Office or your local law enforcement agency.