Counterfeit suspect was 'major source' of fakes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Counterfeit suspect was 'major source' of fakes

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  An Albany man described as a "major source" of counterfeit $20 bills that have been turning up in several stores in the last month is busted.

Secret Service Agents and Albany Dougherty Drug Agents say 22-year-old Jarone Johnson was making the phony 20's on a common laptop computer and printer.

Secret Service agents say they have been investigating the increased number of counterfeit $20 being seen in Albany for three weeks.

They have been watching Johnson closely for a week, and yesterday when they moved in to arrest him, he tried to escape.

Nearly $1,700 worth of counterfeit 20 dollar bills found in the car when Agents arrested Jarone Johnson. Secret Service Agents had been watching him for a week. Monday afternoon when they and A.D.D.U. Drug Agents moved in to arrest him driving near Oakridge Drive, he made a break for it at a liquor store.

A.D.D.U. Commander Major Bill Berry said, "He pulled into a parking lot, they boxed him in. He threw it in reverse and rammed one of the Secret Service's cars that pulled in behind him, striking it."

No one was hurt. Johnson had a gun in his car, but did not resist. A search of his home on MLK Jr. Drive turned up this laptop computer and printer, which agents say he used to make the funny money.

"This is fair quality, but it gets passed all the time at night clubs, convenience stores, street corners, various kinds of transactions. But it's out there," said Secret Service Agent in Charge Stanley Burruss.

Agents say Johnson bought this marijuana they found on him with one of his phony 20's. Agent Burruss says Johnson is probably not the only person in Albany turning out counterfeit 20's, and they expect to see more over the holidays. 

"Becoming more and more prevalent, because more and more people have the ability to it based on the changes in the technology. Somebody bought this printer at a store for not a whole lot of money and produced some fair quality counterfeit currency with it," Burruss said.

That's why Agents say you need to be aware and check your money when you get change at stores.

Johnson is being held in the Dougherty County jail, and will probably face federal forgery charges, and if convicted could face up to ten years in prison.

Secret Service Agents recommend you learn more about real currency to protect yourself from counterfeit bills. The easiest way to spot a phony, hold it up next to a real bill. It will not feel or look the same.

  •  Click HERE to learn more about spotting bogus bills

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