PALESTINE (KYTX) -- Police announced a major cash counterfeiting and identity theft bust Monday morning involving a local woman accused of printing fake $20 bills and applying for credit cards in other people's names.
Lieutenant Jeff Powell said an officer made a traffic stop on Thursday, January 23 after a red Chevrolet Cavalier left a home that was under surveillance.
The officer first determined that the driver, 33-year-old Robbie Dudley, was driving with an invalid drivers license and arrested him.
Powell said 30-year-old Jennifer Bailey was a passenger inside the car and gave consent for a search. The search allegedly revealed an ink jet printer used in the production of counterfeit bills and approximately $3,000 worth of the fake twenties.
Powell further said that there were credit cards inside the car in the names of unknown people which the department believes Bailey applied for using stolen personal information. He said a later search turned up additional evidence and a syringe full of meth.
"This investigation, it appears, will clear at a minimum of between 10-12 active cases that the department is working regarding the disbursement of counterfeit bills in our area," Powell said.
Powell indicated that an additional $10,000 worth of the counterfeit bills had already been passed in the Palestine area. He said it was not clear whether others were involved in the counterfeiting or whether it extends beyond Palestine.
Dudley is still being interviewed in regard to whether he was involved.
The Secret Service, which investigates large counterfeiting operations involving U.S. currency could take over the case.
Palestine police are asking people to closely examine their $20 bills to see if they might have received some of the counterfeit money. The counterfeit bills carry a serial number of ID11725049C.
Bailey was charged with forgery and fraudulent use or possession, both of which are third degree felonies punishable by up to ten ears in prison.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Palestine police at (903) 731-8484, text "PALPD + [your tip info]" to 847411 or go to www.cityofpalestinetx.com and click on the link for TIP411.