The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

January 27, 2014

Counterfeiters strike local businesses

PALESTINE — Palestine police have apprehended two individuals after uncovering a case linking a series of counterfeit fraud abuses in the area, which will remain under investigation.

Lt. Jeffrey Powell, patrol commander for the department, held a press conference Monday morning outlining details of the case.

The investigation, it appears, will clear at a minimum of between 10 to 12 active cases that the department is working regarding the disbursement of counterfeit bills in our area,” Powell said. “And we've contacted the (U.S.) Secret Service, and they are actually coming today (Monday) to look at the case.”

Officers Broc January and Brandon Nicholson were conducting surveillance on a residence in the area of E. Lacy and N. Fowler streets last Thursday when they observed a traffic violation on a red Chevrolet Cavalier leaving the residence at approximately 11 p.m.

The officers stopped the vehicle driven by 33-year-old Robbie Dudley, with a female passenger later identified as Jennifer Bailey, 30. After discovering that Dudley was a “habitual violator of driving without a license/driving with a suspended driver's license,” officers placed him under arrest for driving without a valid driver's license.

Officers were suspicious of additional illegal activity and searched items belonging to Bailey in the vehicle. Their search led to the discovery and seizure of several counterfeit $20 bills.

The serial number on the bills is: ID11725049C.

The department obtained a search warrant to further investigate the vehicle, which was carried out the next day by officers Matt Kerr and Ricki Baker, with assistance from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 unit. Officers found additional counterfeit items — a total of $3,000 in counterfeit $20s — as well as fraudulently obtained credit cards in the vehicle.

In addition to these items, the dog found “some meth and a syringe” in the vehicle, Powell added.

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