5 issued summonses in counterfeit scheme

$2,000 in $20 bills produced on copiers, police say

February 24, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Five Westminster residents have been charged by criminal summons, accused of conspiring to produce and pass counterfeit $20 bills since Jan. 1, Westminster police said yesterday.

A 16-year-old girl was charged as a juvenile, and at least one other adult might be charged within a week, said Lt. Dean Brewer, a police spokesman.

Also charged were Michael T. Dill, 18, of the 1900 block of Meadow Drive; Ryan M. Hill, 19, of Silver Meadow Lane; Kelly N. Mayo, 19, of the 700 block of Johahn Drive; and Michael C. Latini, 20, of the 500 block of Old Westminster Pike.

When charged by criminal summons, the person is not taken into custody but is ordered to appear in court, where legal rights are explained and a trial date is set, said Theresa M. Adams, an assistant state's attorney.

Brewer said the five were charged by summons rather than being taken into custody because they are local residents and cooperated with the investigation.

The bills were produced at office supply outlets in Westminster and Pikesville, where color copiers were used to make sheets of the counterfeit bills, Brewer said.

"They didn't use the copiers in the front of the stores where employees do the actual copying for customers, but the [color copier] models on the floor," Brewer said. "One would stand lookout while another made the copies, and then they went outside to their car and cut up the sheets."

The lieutenant said about $2,000 in counterfeit bills was produced, and detectives believe most of the money was used to buy drugs.

By Feb. 1, police had collected 19 counterfeit bills and begun warning merchants to look for several young men and a young woman using fake bills to make small purchases at area convenience stores, pizza shops, fast-food restaurants and at Cranberry Mall.

In some instances, clerks were asked for a $100 bill in exchange for five counterfeit $20 bills, police said.

Pub Date: 2/24/99

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