MARIETTA - A potential counterfeiting operation has been stopped by local law enforcement.
Brian M. Taylor, 25, of 102 Flintwood Drive, Marietta, was arrested Friday after counterfeit bills passed at Speedway on Seventh Street were traced back to him, officials said.
Taylor was charged with criminal simulation, a second-degree misdemeanor, and has since posted $1,000 bond.
"It was being done locally," said Marietta Police Capt. Jeff Waite of the operation.
A search warrant executed at Taylor's residence turned up two computers, a scanner and paper, he said.
Two counterfeit $20 bills passed at the Speedway last Tuesday were traced back to Taylor by the individuals using the bills, officials said. Video surveillance showed the same two individuals, Aaron R. Fulton of Marietta and Ashley M. Wynn of Columbus, were present both times the counterfeit bills were passed, said the police report.
"Apparently, they were unaware," said Waite.
Fulton and Wynn told officers they had unknowingly accepted the counterfeit money from Taylor Sept. 30 as payment for marijuana. On Oct. 1, Fulton and Wynn pooled their money with Logan Grimm of Belpre and attempted to buy more drugs in Lancaster, Ohio, officials said. However, the dealer noticed the counterfeit money and would not make the sale, officials said.
Because Grimm allegedly also had received money from Taylor, the three determined he was the source of the counterfeit money, officials said.
Fulton and Wynn passed the first counterfeit bill at Speedway after they returned home from their unsuccessful drug buy, said Waite. The second was used at the same Speedway later that day. A third counterfeit bill was used at the Speedway on Second Street, but it is not clear when or who the culprits were, he said.
According to the police report, Fulton and Wynn thought they had separated the faulty bills and were using real ones at Speedway.
The computer confiscated from Taylor's residence will be sent to the lab for forensic testing. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests could arise, said Waite.