JACKSON COUNTY - A traffic stop in Ravenswood led to the arrest of a Ripley pair for counterfeiting and the seizure of a quantity of bogus $20 bills and items use to produce the “funny money.”
Ravenswood Police Patrolman J.B. Thompson made a traffic stop on a vehicle containing four individuals, including Justin R. Barker, 24, and Jade N. Williams, 18, both of Ripley, on February 1.
During the course of the stop, Thompson recovered a bundle of money from beneath the rear seat of the vehicle, which he identified as being counterfeit $20 bills. Allegedly Barker had tossed the bundle to a back seat passenger to hide as the stop was initiated.
Detective Ross Mellinger of the JCBI became involved in the case and identified occupants of the vehicle as being previously involved in other crimes including drug offenses. Information led Mellinger to believe that the counterfeit money had been manufactured at a Ripley area apartment occupied by Barker and Williams. Both denied permission for a search of the apartment.
Mellinger acquired a search warrant for 4G Wedgewood Village Apartments and accompanied by several other lawmen executued that warrant. Inside the apartment’s master bedroom, the investigators found counterfeit $20 bills with the same serial number as those bogus bills seized in the traffic stop, a color printer with the image of a $20 bill on its screen, shredded counterfeit bills and other items.
Barker and Williams were arrested and charged with felony counterfeiting of US currency. Bond was set at $50,000 for each. The pair remain lodged in the South Central Regional Jail in lieu of bond.