BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Detectives arrested a ring of five individuals from the Houston area who were caught passing off counterfeit $100 bills around Baton Rouge on New Year’s Eve.
Police received an anonymous tip on Tuesday, Dec. 31, that five individuals were in Baton Rouge using counterfeit hundred dollar bills to make small purchases in order to receive change for the bills.
Deputies located the five suspects at a motel on Reiger Road, where various items from area businesses were found along with a large amount of cash.
Investigators also received information from various merchants about counterfeit bills being found.
Victor Henry, Mazarati Esset, Krystal Noriega, Tabatha Jolivet, and Kayla Peterson, all from the Houston, Texas area, were charged with four counts of Monetary Instrument Abuse and four counts of Theft.
While interviewing the suspects, one admitted that they obtained counterfeit money in Houston and drove to several cities, including Baton Rouge, to make purchases.
The suspect stated that Henry would give the women the bills to make the purchases, and they would then give their change to Henry, and he would allegedly pay them their "cut" of the money.
One suspect stated there were too many bills for her to remember how many they had passed off.
All transactions were reportedly made in Baton Rouge Dec 29-30.
Another suspect provided a list of approximately twenty additional businesses where they had presented the money and said that there were more.
Detectives obtained a search warrant for three additional motel rooms and found counterfeit bills in all three.
The investigation is ongoing, evidence is still being processed, and more charges are expected.
Business owners or individuals that suspect they have a counterfeit bill should call their local law enforcement agency to make a report.
Anyone with information concerning these individuals is asked to contact the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office at 225-389-5000.