By MARY RAINWATER
It was all about the timing for the Anderson County Sheriff's Office Thursday, as four Palestine residents were arrested in two separate incidents involving counterfeit money, a stolen vehicle and drugs.
The first incident occurred at 2 a.m. on Thursday, when ACSO deputies received reports that counterfeit money had been used at an Elkhart convenience store, the Valero station.
“Sgt. Investigator Ronnie Foster was nearby on another matter and he was joined by Deputy Ginger Lively at the scene,” Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said. “Two Department of Public Safety troopers also were in the area and actually got to the scene first and held the suspects.”
Suspects Christopher Lynn McKnight, 22, and Chelsie Michelle McKnight, 21, both of Palestine, were arrested at the scene for forgery of a financial instrument or government document.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers also found a small amount of methamphetamine and items used in the sale of meth, which added the charge of possession of a controlled substance, 1-4 grams.
“We also found some evidence that may tie in with an identity theft operation, including SD cards and laptops,” Taylor said. “Six counterfeit $20 bills were found in the vehicle as well.”
A bond of $65,000 was set for both suspects, who are married, and the two bonded out of jail on Friday.
Taylor urges business owners to be on the lookout for counterfeit money — to pay attention to the money they take in when doing business and to report and suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
The second set of arrests occurred at 10 a.m. Thursday, when investigator Ryan Tolliver and Deputy Donnie Myers were patrolling in the Palestine area.
“They spotted a vehicle that had been reported stolen on Jan. 23 at the intersection of U.S. 79 and Loop 256 in Palestine,” Taylor said. “They got the vehicle stopped and took two subjects into custody.”
Suspects Michael Meyer, 44, and Amanda Marie McKinney, 34, both of Palestine, were charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
During a subsequent search, officers found a small amount of marijuana on McKinney, adding possession of marijuana, less than 2 ounces, to her list of charges. She also was found to have an outstanding warrant. He bond was set at $31,500 plus a $400 fine.
Meyer had three outstanding local warrants — for burglary, theft and driving while intoxicated-failure to appear. His bonds total $30,000.
Both suspects remained in the Anderson County Jail on Friday.
The stolen vehicle, a grey 2006 Chevy Equinox was reported stolen in the Cayuga area. Taylor reported that it will eventually be returned to its owners.