Following an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, a man and woman from Western Washington who were arrested in Moses Lake in April after passing fake bills at several local businesses are now facing federal charges.
Artem Kirichenko, 32, of Puyallup, has been charged in U.S. District Court in Spokane with six counts of passing and uttering counterfeit obligations or securities, possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute heroin and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Emily Coates, 30, of Puyallup, is facing two counts of passing and uttering counterfeit obligations or securities, possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of meth and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
When Kirichenko and Coates were taken into custody back in April they were initially facing charges in Grant County Superior Court as they were investigated by the Secret Service. The Grant County Prosecutor’s Office motioned to dismiss the charges against the suspects on Monday.
The indictments follow an April 23 incident at the Moses Lake Walmart. Kirichenko and Coates found themselves on the radar of police in Moses Lake after fake $100 bills were passed off at Safeway and Rite Aid by a male and female. In response, a MLPD cop contacted local businesses with information about the fake bills and suspects. Kirichenko and Coates later reportedly attempted to pass fake bills at Safeway and were taken into custody at the store.
Police seized the suspect’s vehicle and obtained a search warrant. The search warrant yielded 4 ounces of meth, 1 ounce of heroin, $10,000 in legitimate cash, $2,000 in fake bills, an illegally possessed pistol, computer equipment, a printer, a credit card embosser and a larger number of fake credit cards. Moses Lake police say they also recovered evidence that indicated Kirichenko and Coates had been traveling across the state and paying with counterfeit bills.
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