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Sheriff’s department make second counterfeit money bust in a week

Six Loomis residents arrested for allegedly passing fake $100 bills at Target
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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Six Loomis residents were arrested in the second Placer counterfeit-money-ring bust in a week. Tuesday night Placer County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Benjamin Martin Nunez, 37, Etta Sanders, 36, Jorge Luis Pena, 53, Mark Randall Cosme, 23, Michael Patrick Casey, 37, and Tracy Irene McCormick, 33, at a 5-bedroom home all six were living in on the 3300 block of Auburn Folsom Road. The six were arrested at 5:30 p.m. on allegations that they’ve been operating a counterfeit currency printing scam out of the home since March 2009, according to Detective Jim Hudson. Detectives and deputies were led to the house after investigating a series of times when counterfeit $100 bills were passed at Placer County Target stores. Using surveillance videos, Hudson said deputies were able to capture one of the suspect’s license plate numbers and then found the car’s registration information. From there, they compared driver’s license photos with pictures from store video cameras to positively identify the suspects involved. When deputies arrived at the home Tuesday night, four of the six counterfeit suspects were home and two others arrived at the residence later. Deputies found two rooms inside the house that were set up to make the counterfeit bills. Inside those rooms were printers, scanners, counterfeit $100, $50 and $20 bills, and notes. “They kept detailed notes of where they were able to pass currency and where they were not able to pass currency,” Hudson said. Detectives also recovered “numerous” receipts of items purchased with counterfeit bills and then returned in exchange for legitimate bills. This is the second counterfeit scam that Placer Sheriff’s have uncovered in the last week. On Oct. 30, two Sacramento residents were arrested on suspicion of burglary, passing counterfeit currency and conspiracy. Officials say the two rings are unrelated. “The fact that we found two counterfeit locations in a matter of a week is unheard of,” Hudson said. Hudson credited Target officials with helping the investigation. In addition to arresting the six suspects in connection with the counterfeit ring, two additional residents at the home, Daniel Kral, 36, of Loomis, and Stacy Lee Brady, 33, of Sacramento, were also arrested when deputies discovered they were wanted on two unrelated warrants. Hudson warned residents to be cautious of counterfeit money schemes as the holiday season approaches. “We want to stress upon the public to please be careful when accepting currency and check to make sure it’s legitimate,” Hudson said. “As we approach our holiday season, more counterfeit currency is being made.” Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com.