Parsons police along with other agencies have been plagued in recent weeks with an influx of counterfeit currency.
Police investigated a counterfeiting report at 12:33 a.m. Wednesday. An employee of Pete’s at 116 S. 32nd called police to report two individuals attempting to pass counterfeit money at the convenience store. Police received a vehicle description and a direction of travel.
Parsons Police Officer Jeff Essig was dispatched to the call and was looking for a maroon sport utility vehicle heading east on Main Street from 32nd. Essig spotted a vehicle matching that description and confirmed the tag information with dispatch and was told it matched information provided. Officer Essig stopped the SUV in the 1700 block of Main.
The occupants of the vehicle matched the description given by the store clerk and a regional law enforcement bulletin. The driver possessed a counterfeit bill along with a controlled substance and a firearm.
Jeffery S. Wilson, 30, of Iola, Charles L. Wilson, 61, of Yates Center and Macey C. Heger, 24, of Yates Center were arrested on suspicion of counterfeiting and passing counterfeit bills in multiple cities. Police from Pittsburg, Iola, Independence, Coffeyville and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department have reported counterfeit money being passed in their jurisdictions. There may be other agencies that have not contacted Parsons detectives.
Police sought for and received a search warrant for the vehicle that was seized. In the vehicle more counterfeit bills were discovered along with drug paraphernalia and computer equipment used to create fraudulent bills. The U.S. Secret Service has been contacted as it is a federal crime to counterfeit and pass U.S. currency. The Parsons Police Department will continue to work closely with the agencies involved as this case develops.
“It may come as a surprise to the community but to me this is expected. Good citizens providing good information and leads our officers to a great bust,” Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said. “Anytime we take guns, drugs, money and equipment used to create fake money, we are winning. This is a huge step for the department and great work by Officer Essig for being vigilant enough to spot the suspects and act on it. This was a great investigation and we will continue to do great things for the community or Parsons.”
This continues to be an ongoing investigation and citizens are encouraged to “see it, hear it, report it.” Anyone with further information on this incident or any other criminal activity should contact the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060 or call the tip line at 421-7057 or email email@example.com.