By MARK TODD - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mentor law enforcement have charged a Jefferson man with passing counterfeit $20 bills in Lake County, and similar charges could be filed closer to home, according to the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office.
Mentor police have charged Brandon M. Knight, 20, 345 S. Market St., with criminal simulation, Lt. Terry A. Moisio of the Ashtabula County sheriff’s office, said Friday. Comparable charges are pending against Knight in Ashtabula County, who was arrested Friday on drug-related charges, he said in a statement.
Earlier this month, deputies began receiving complaints from local businesses, mainly in the northern part of the county, about bogus $20 bills, Moisio said. Identical complaints were being heard in Mentor, he said in the statement.
A suspect was developed on Thursday based on investigation by deputies, county detectives assigned to the Trumbull Ashtabula Group, Mentor police and the U.S. Secret Service, Moisio said. One day later, the suspect was found in a vehicle stopped by deputies in Ashtabula, he said. Information obtained from that traffic stop resulted in a search warrant served early Friday morning in Jefferson, Moisio said.
Later in the day, Knight and two other people, Dana S. Stroud, 19, 3371 Padanarum Road, Geneva; and Fallon D. Knight, 25, 333 S. Market St., Jefferson; were each charged with possession of drug abuse instruments, Moisio said in the statement.
The fake bills appeared at fast food restaurants and convenience stores in the two-county area, Moisio said. The counterfeit currency was created via a computer scanner, he said.
The case remains under investigation and more people could be charged, Moisio said.