Two men have been arrested in Palouse in possession of $2,800 in apparent counterfeit money, a printer, extra ink cartridges and high quality bonded paper that has been linked to counterfeit bills used across Washington and Northern Idaho.
According to a media release from Palouse Police Department Chief Jerry Neumann, Officer Joe Handley was on patrol Sunday around 9:30 p.m. when he observed a vehicle driving erratically and without license plates.
The driver of the vehicle, a 24-year-old Burlington, Wash., man reportedly stopped and asked the officer for directions to the nearest gas station, at which time Handley reported the driver appeared to possibly be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Neumann said.
The driver then drove away, but when he was unable to locate the gas station, looped back through Palouse and was stopped by Handley for his poor driving, according to Neumann. The driver was then arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. Police said he admitted to using heroin, as well.
During a search of the vehicle, heroin, drug paraphernalia and $2,800 worth of hundred dollar bills were found in the pages of a Gideon Bible, he said.
The passenger, a 32-year-old man, was also taken into custody on a warrant out of California for forgery and altering a bank note. According to Neumann, the passenger had a past arrest by the Secret Service for counterfeiting money.
The counterfeit bills found inside the vehicle, included bills both uncut, cut and altered with glitter paint to defeat one of the security measures on the front of the bill, according to Neumann. A printer with extra ink cartridges and a box of high quality bonded paper was also found inside the vehicle, he said.
The counterfeit money is believed to be connected to several reports of fraudulent bills across Washington and northern Idaho, Neumann said.
Both men were transported to the Whitman County Jail in Colfax and the Secret Service out of Spokane has taken over the case. They are scheduled to appear in Whitman County Superior Court at 10 a.m. Friday in Colfax.
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