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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
every day the nose leads investigators to an apparent counterfeit ring, but that's
apparently what happened for police at a hotel Sunday night.
It began as
a simple response by the Baton Rouge Police Department to a strong odor coming
from one of the rooms at the Comfort Inn on Constitution Avenue, but now, the US
Secret Service is assisting BRPD into the investigation of what appears to be a
A call to a
Baton Rouge hotel room for noise and smell disturbances quickly turned into so
much more for police. According to police documents, hazardous materials (haz
mat) units and officers discovered a white powder substance located throughout
were arrested at the scene with more than $6,800 in cash. They have been
all charged with property damage and conspiracy to commit monetary instrument
abuse, which is basically illegally altering money.
suspects also described two other men who fled the scene as appearing to be
police have a counterfeit ring on their hands? Former federal prosecutor Brad
Myers said the arrests do raise some eyebrows.
think it's probably not uncommon to see every now and then somebody passing a 20
[dollar bill] here or there, but a scheme to pass a large amount of money in
this area is pretty uncommon," Myers said.
documents also show the suspects told police they gave the foreign men a
portion of their cash in order for the counterfeit money to be made and
according to Myers, this area may be the back-drop they were looking for.
not uncommon to see people try to pass counterfeit currency in more rural areas
or smaller cities. Most of the time, they pass them or try to pass them and
retail establishments aren't as sophisticated as in a larger metropolitan area,"
along with help from the Secret Service, determines what it dealing with, Myers
believes the best course of action is caution.
really have to be paying close attention if you're a retail outlet who thinks
you may have currency, but sometimes, it's really difficult to tell a real bill
from a fake bill," Myers said.
added the next step for BRPD will most likely be trying to track down the two
foreign suspects and then trying to determine if the counterfeit attempts
stretch much further beyond the men arrested.