$40K in counterfeit cash seized in bust; two suspects arrested - KPTV - FOX 12

$40K in counterfeit cash seized in bust; two suspects arrested

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Counterfeit money seized in bust (Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) Counterfeit money seized in bust (Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office)
Counterfeit money seized in bust (Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) Counterfeit money seized in bust (Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office)
Wesley Romero, Deborah Musselwhite, jail booking photos Wesley Romero, Deborah Musselwhite, jail booking photos
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Deputies seized nearly $40,000 in counterfeit cash and arrested two people in connection to the phony bills being used around the Portland metro area.

Clackamas County deputies received information Wednesday about a man who used counterfeit $100 bills at the Clackamas Target store.

Detectives were able to track the suspect to Best Buy at Cascade Station in Portland. A car associated with the suspect was located in the parking lot with a man and woman inside.

The woman, identified as Deborah Michelle Musselwhite, 22, of Forest Grove, had a warrant for her arrest in Multnomah County, according to deputies.

The suspect accused of using the counterfeit bills at Target, 26-year-old Wesley James Romero of Forest Grove, returned to the vehicle and was taken into custody.

A search of Romero's car revealed computers, printers and hard drives, along with counterfeit money, according to deputies.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said Romero admitted passing the counterfeit money at the Target store, as well as other stores in the metro area.

He was arrested on the charge of first-degree forgery. Musselwhite was arrested on her warrant, which was for the charge of second-degree theft.

The other man in the car was released at the scene.

Deputies said a total $39,585 of counterfeit U.S. currency was recovered during the investigation.

Employees at a beauty supply store in the same shopping center as the Clackamas Target told Fox 12 they'd gotten a counterfeit $50 a month or so back, but it's not clear if it's related to this case.  Employees at a yogurt shop next door said deputies had been in to warn them that fake cash was being passed around in the area.

Crown Jewelers sales clerk Georgette Lynch said none of the counterfeit bills had been passed in that store, which is right next to Target.

"That surprises us," Lynch said of the nearly $40,000 in counterfeit bills being recovered.  "We're glad [police] caught it before they got here."

Lynch said employees at the jewelry store regularly check cash with a counterfeit detection pen and a UV light, which reveals a security strip in authentic currency.

Anyone with information about the suspects or this investigation is asked to Detective Bill Rowlands at wiliamrow@clackamas.us or via the sheriff's office tip line at 503-723-4949 or online at http://web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp.

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