KGVO News reached out to Stevensville Police Chief Macario ‘Mac’ Sosa on Wednesday after the department issued a Facebook alert over what turned out to be a fake twenty dollar bill was used at a local supermarket.

Chief Sosa said it appears to be what is referred to as ‘copy money’.

“We received a call with information concerning some bills that were passed at one of the local supermarkets,” said Chief Sosa. “They sent us photos of the front and back of the $20 bills. It plainly says that it's ‘copy money’. So we put that out as an advisory for our citizens in the area so they could be on the lookout just in case they handle cash or if they make any purchases with cash to be on the lookout for that.”

Credit: Stevensville Police Department
Credit: Stevensville Police Department
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Credit: Stevensville Police Department
Credit: Stevensville Police Department

Sosa said this is the first he has heard in his jurisdiction of anything resembling counterfeit money being passed.

“I'm not aware of any past reports of this particular type of money,” he said. “There have been rare instances of counterfeit money being passed, but this was the first time that we saw any something that resembled a $20 bill.”

Sosa said there are strict regulations on how local law enforcement agencies are required to handle reports of possible counterfeit money.

“Usually it's handled locally, but we are required to make contact with the Secret Service,” he said. “The Secret Service is the agency that handles all counterfeit money. The supermarket that handled that is outside of our jurisdiction. It was another agency that would have handled that, but we would have made contact with the nearest Secret Service Office and coordinated with them to turn the money over to them.”

Sosa said counterfeiting falls under the fraud statute in federal law.

“It's a form of fraud, so if a local jurisdiction would want to take a case like that it would depend on the actual amount that was being attempted to be purchased that would play a role in the charges that might be filed.”

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