Police bust Fargo-Moorhead counterfeit ringFARGO, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say they have dismantled a significant counterfeiting operation in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
West Fargo Police Detective Sgt. Greg Warren on Thursday said that authorities confiscated scanners, printers and solution for washing bills while executing a search warrant in Moorhead, Minn. They also seized thousands of dollars in counterfeit bills.
A man and woman were arrested, and a third person believed to be involved is in the Clay County, Minn., jail on a warrant.
There have been numerous reports recently of bogus bills being passed at businesses in the metro area. Fargo police alone have investigated more than a dozen cases since mid-May.
West Fargo Press Release:
On July 11, 2010, the West Fargo Police Department arrested Robert Lee Flores, age 21, in connection of being in possession and passing 3 counterfeit bills at Stop-N-Go at 901 Main Avenue East in West Fargo. The vehicle driven to Stop-N-Go was seized by the West Fargo Police Department and a search warrant was obtained for the vehicle, which was a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix, black in color, with ND plates. That warrant on the vehicle produced narcotic paraphenalia, over $2200 in counterfeit bills, and indications of the production of counterfeit money. Interviews and investigations indicate that that vehicle is owned and operated by an Earl St. Claire Jr., age 20, of Moorhead, MN. Investigators from the West Fargo Police Department ,US Secret Service, and Moorhead Police Department continued investigating this case in the City Of Moorhead. A traffic stop was done on a vehicle driven by Earl St. Claire Jr. in the 1900 block of 15th Ave. N in Moorhead. At that time, taken into custody on active warrants was Earl St. Claire Jr., age 20, Bradley Poitra, age 42, of Wahpeton ND, and Rachel Thompson, age 21, of Fargo, ND. The vehicle belonging to Rachel Thompson, age 21, was held by police pending a search warrant.
Further investigation, led to a search warrant being served at 1008 2nd Ave. North In Moorhead, which is the residence of Brandon Anderton, age 21, and Earl St. Claire Jr., age 20. Between the two warrants of the residence and vehicle, over $2800 of counterfeit money was seized, as well as, a computer, scanner, and chemicals used in the making of counterfeit money. Clay County has filed charges of 3 felony counts of Counterfeiting of currency against Earl St. Claire Jr., 3 felony counts of Counterfeiting of currency against Rachel Thompson, and a gross misdemeaner charge of counterfeiting of currency against Brandon Anderton. Reports have been sent to the Cass County States Attorney for charges in this case, but have not been filed as of yet. This case has been a great multijurisdictional case that has resulted the shutting down of a operational counterfeiting lab and the seizure of over $5000 in counterfiet funds. The United States Secret Service has indicated that this is one of the largest counterfeiting operations ever supressed in the Metro Area. The US Attorneys office is currently reviewing this case for possible Federal charges.
This case is still under investigation. We request people with further information to contact Detective Nelson at the Moorhead Police Department at 218-299-5111 or Detective Cruff at the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500.