A counterfeit investigation by the Rolla Police Department paid off for officers. A Branson man was arrested in Rolla following the investigation, which included several agencies, according to a release issued by the Rolla Police Department. Bradley Johnson, age 31, was charged with Forgery and Possession of a Forging Instrument.
According to the release issued by the police, officers obtained a search warrant for a residence in the 800 block of South Bishop Avenue where the counterfeit operation was allegedly taking place. Once there, officers seized approximately $1000 in counterfeit bills, and equipment used for the operation.
According to the case’s probable cause statement, the search warrant was, in part, based off of “information provided by a reliable confidential informant.” This confidential informant, according to the probable cause statement, said Johnson, who was “known to produce counterfeit money,” was in Rolla producing counterfeit bills. The probable cause statement said the informant was able to provide evidence this was occuring.
The reporting officer conducted a search of the residence, with Johnson being the sole occupant of the residence, according to the probable cause statement. As a result of the search, the following items were discovered and seized:
$1000 in counterfeit bills, located on a dresser
A laptop computer, located in a backpack on the bed
A printer, located in a suitcase
Multiple bills that were printed only on one side, located in a trash bag
Multiple pieces of paper used to create the bills, located in a trash bag
Multiple other miscellaneous items used to create counterfeit bills, located throughout the room
Johnson’s case review is scheduled for Feb. 6. He was issued a bond amount of $100,000.
An article previously published in The Rolla Daily News explored counterfeiting in the surrounding counties. In the interview, Detective Paul Reuff, who handles many counterfeit investigations in Phelps County, explained how consumers can keep a lookout for fake money.
“There are a number of things you look for in your modern money,” he explained. According to him, any $100 bill will feature a security strip that isn’t printed on the paper beneath. All bills will have color-shifting ink in the bottom corner, which will change color when the viewer tilts the bill in front of their eye. This ink is one of the best ways for consumers to identify potential fake bills.
He also explained that while counting machines in banks catch a large percentage of forgeries, fake bills can still pass through other obstacles when close attention isn’t paid.
“Anytime you pass a counterfeit, you’re hurting the economy,” Reuf said. “That’s all there is to it. That note is spent so many times, it’s like the water running down the stream, it runs past everything. The note is the same way, it’s spent and spent again until it’s caught.”
If someone comes into contact with a counterfeit note, or suspects counterfeit activity, they are asked to report it to the U.S. Secret Service, or their local police.