Two more counterfeit bills found in Cape Girardeau this week

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More fake currency was passed at two Cape Girardeau locations Monday and Tuesday, and police are unsure whether the bills are linked to other counterfeit bills that have popped up over and over in the past month.

On Monday, a business owner took a suspicious-looking $100 bill to Capaha Bank, 380 N. Kingshighway, to see if it was fake, Cape Girardeau Police spokesman Darin Hickey said. After testing the bill, the bank found it to be fake and alerted the police, Hickey said.

On Tuesday, a clerk at the license bureau took a counterfeit $20 bill as a payment. When she found the bill in her drawer, she notified police, who are investigating who used the bill, Hickey said.

Hickey said he was unsure whether the bills that were passed this week came from the same manufacturers responsible for the phony bills passed at Cape Girardeau businesses in October. Since Oct. 5, nine instances of counterfeit bills being passed as real currency have been reported in Cape Girardeau.

Most of the reported of instances of counterfeit bills occurred at West Park Mall. J.C. Penney accepted a counterfeit bill Oct. 20, while Finish Line, Macy's, Lids and Champs accepted counterfeit $10 and $20 bills in exchange for merchandise Oct. 5, Hickey said. Cape Girardeau police turned the bills from J.C. Penney over to the Secret Service to see if they match the other bills that were passed, Hickey said.

No Cape Girardeau arrests have been made in connection to any of the counterfeit bills passed at West Park Mall.

Use of phony bills apparently stops at the Mississippi River. Officials at the Cairo Police Department and the Alexander County Sheriff's Department have not received any reports of the bills in their jurisdictions.

In Poplar Bluff, Mo., Brynet Trice and Darius Robinson are in custody and law enforcement officers are searching for three other people in connection with $10, $20 and $50 counterfeit bills that have been used in Sikeston, Mo., Dexter, Mo., and Cape Girardeau.

Trice and Robinson were arrested in connection with the counterfeit bills and face forgery charges. While interviewing with police, Trice named three co-conspirators -- Jessica Gross, 25, Terry Hester, 27, both of Poplar Bluff, and Darius Lankford, 28, of Huntsville, Ala. All three remain at large.

Trice is due in Butler County Circuit Court Thursday, and Robinson appeared for a hearing Nov. 3 and is due back Dec. 5.

The bills that were passed at West Park Mall and bills passed recently in Sikeston and Dexter are all connected to the ones passed in Poplar Bluff, said Poplar Bluff detective Greg Brainard. The Secret Service is now investigating the counterfeiting ring with the four cities and federal indictments are forthcoming, Brainard said. As of Wednesday afternoon, no suspects had received a federal indictment.

psullivan@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

112 South Spanish Street Cape Girardeau, Mo.

380 N. Kingshighway Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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