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Feds investigate counterfeit bill ring in Spokane

Two Cheney teenagers who tried to buy turtle food with a fake $100 bill could face federal charges after an investigation turned up what appears to be a counterfeit bill ring, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Sonnie Antaraliclaude Woods Jr. and Miranda Frances Smith, both 19, were arrested Sunday afternoon at Evergreen Pets, 14319 E. Sprague Ave., after being interviewed by a police officer and a U.S Treasury Department investigator.

Investigators recovered the fake bill from a pet store employee and learned of two other bills passed at a Dairy Queen and Dollar Store that also were recovered, according to a news release. Three more bills were found in the couple’s car, according to police, and the two told police Woods had obtained 35 fake $100 bills and paid Smith $20 for each bill she laundered.

Serial numbers on the bills matched hundreds of other counterfeit bills passed in Spokane and Antioch, Calif., police said.

Woods is in custody at Geiger Corrections Center; Smith was released Monday, jail records show.



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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.