The suspects in a counterfeiting case from April of this year pled Nolo Contendere to the charges. Under the plea deals, Christopher Lee Sawyer was sentenced to 15 years in Prison by Judge Kelvin Wells. Tracy Marie Matthews pled to lesser charges and received a sentence of 6 months in Jail. Both will receive credit for time served and were ordered to pay fines and court costs. “Justice was served in this case. We have counterfeit cases from time to time and it is always a good thing when we can catch the ones responsible,” said Chief Mark Weeks.
ORIGINAL: TWO CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF COUNTERFEIT BILLS
Officers with the DeFuniak Springs Police responded to Wal*Mart on Monday around 1:30 PM in reference to a couple passing counterfeit bills to a cashier. 38 year old Christopher Lee Sawyer resisted Officers and was placed under arrest. The female, later identified as 26 year old Tracey Marie Matthews was able to elude Officers. An investigation that included the United Secret Service began into the source of the fake $20 bills. A vehicle and motel room was discovered to be the storage locations and manufacturing point. Search warrants were obtained for both and executed this morning. A variety of items used in the counterfeiting of money, including metallic pens used to forge security features were found inside the motel room. Multiple pages of uncut counterfeit twenties were found along with printing supplies, resume paper, and scissors. Approximately 30 sheets of uncut counterfeit twenties were recovered from the vehicle. The couple also had several realistic looking air cartridge BB guns. They may have been used to facilitate other crimes. “These are good forgeries, said Chief Mark Weeks, the paper is similar and many of the features resemble a genuine bill. A quick look for the watermarked portrait, the UV strip, and the detection pen test are the best ways to make sure you are getting real money.”
Matthews was arrested on Tuesday on unrelated charges. Both are being charged with possession of counterfeit bills and possession of tools for counterfeiting. They are currently being held in the Walton County Jail, pending first appearance. If you believe you received counterfeit bills, please contact the DeFuniak Springs Police at 850-892-8513 or your local law enforcement agency.