Detectives arrested a 36-year-old man and an accomplice Wednesday afternoon in Lynnwood after following up on reports of counterfeit bills being used in North Seattle over the past few months.
Over the past few months there have been several reports of counterfeit money being used in North Seattle involving two suspects. Detectives from the Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) learned that one suspect had purchased jewelry and other items from mobile-based applications that specialize in the buying and selling of items. In one case, a victim posted several pairs of Nike Air Jordan shoes for sale on the site. A potential buyer, later identified as the suspect, contacted the victim stating he was interested in buying the shoes. The two agreed to meet in an apartment complex parking lot in Edmonds.
The victim sold the suspect three pairs of shoes for $700 cash. After receiving the money from the suspect, the victim took the bills to a nearby drugstore where he had the employee examine the bills with a currency pen, to indicate whether the bill was valid. Unfortunately, the bills turned out to be fake.
The victim was able to pull up a Facebook photograph of the suspect based on the name the suspect provided him. That incident was reported to Edmonds Police.
About a month later, a separate victim was selling her diamond earrings online. The suspect contacted the victim stating he was interested in purchasing the earrings and agreed to meet the victim in the parking lot of a store in Greenwood. The suspect gave the victim ten $100 bills for the earrings and then the two parted ways. The victim attempted to deposit the cash into a nearby ATM, but the machine rejected the deposit because the bills were not real. The victim contacted Seattle Police and a report was taken. The counterfeit bills were placed into evidence.
MCTF detectives took over the investigation and developed a probable suspect and location. On Wednesday, April 18th, detectives, North Anti-Crime Team, and Lynnwood Police set up surveillance of a residence in the city of Lynnwood. The suspect and a female companion left the residence and were arrested a few minutes later. The 36-year-old woman had outstanding warrants for her arrest.
During a search of the suspect, officers located several obvious counterfeit bills on his person. Officers also located bindles of heroin on the suspect. Officers located suspected cocaine inside the vehicle the two were in when they were arrested. Detectives later served a search warrant on the suspect’s residence and located more heroin and a large amount of real and counterfeit cash and several suspected stolen items, including two realistic-looking pellet guns.
The suspect was later booked into the King County Jail for investigation of fraud, forgery, theft, and felony drugs. The female was booked for her felony warrant.
If you believe you may have been the victim of a fraud involving this suspect and counterfeit bills, contact the Seattle Police Department. This remains an active and on-going investigation.