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Counterfeit bills spent at Wadena businesses

One of the two African-American males suspected of spreading counterfeit money at Wadena businesses Aug. 25 had tattoos on both arms. He was photographed by a security camera at the local Walmart SuperCenter. Photo provided

The Wadena Police Department is looking into multiple reports of counterfeit currency being passed in Wadena Aug. 25.

Two African-American males, one having a tattoo on both arms, are suspects in the crime. Both are believed to be from outside the area.

Wadena Police Sergeant Brandon Pearson and two other officers are handling the investigation.

The counterfeit currency known to be used was in the amount of $20 and $50 bills.

“There were a couple of businesses hit and we’re still rounding stuff up and trying to i.d. these guys,” Pearson told the Pioneer Journal Thursday. “I’d just like business owners and cashiers to be mindful of it and if something doesn’t appear to be right to let authorities know right away and try to obtain the license number of the vehicle.”

Pearson said he has not seen the counterfeit bills but he has put out a crime alert and has been in contact with the United States Secret Service, a federal agency charged with investigating counterfeiting crimes.

Investigators are presently in the process of identifying the two suspects who were photographed by security cameras at the Walmart SuperCenter.

Exactly how much counterfeit money has been passed has not been determined.

“It’s in the hundreds of dollars and that is just in our city,” Pearson said. “Wadena is not the only victim in this, I have reached out to other agencies and we’re sharing networking information.”

Pearson said the Wadena Police Department have seen random bills passed in the city during his 11 years on the force but nothing on this scale.

Counterfeiting is a federal offense.

“I wouldn’t want to be those guys,” Pearson said.

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